Alzheimer’s disease is a complex condition that affects not only memory but also behaviour. Caregivers play a crucial role in providing effective care for their aging loved ones with Alzheimer’s by understanding and addressing the behavioural changes associated with the disease. In this blog post, we will explore some common behavioural challenges that seniors with Alzheimer’s may experience and discuss strategies for managing them.

1. Sundowning Syndrome

Sundowning refers to the agitation, restlessness and confusion that some seniors with Alzheimer’s experience as the day progresses. To minimize sundowning syndrome, reducing sugar and caffeine intake can be helpful. Additionally, creating a calming environment with soft lighting, soothing music, and engaging activities can promote relaxation during the evening hours.

2. Repetitive Stories and Sentences

Short-term memory loss is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, leading to the repetition of stories and sentences. Caregivers should approach this behaviour with patience and empathy. Using memory aids such as photos, notes, or memory-triggering activities can assist in managing repetition and providing a sense of continuity for your loved one.

3. Aimlessly Wandering

Wandering can pose risks to the safety of seniors with Alzheimer’s. It’s essential to develop strategies to ensure their well-being. Instead of locking doors, which can cause distress, consider implementing safety measures such as installing alarms or utilizing door sensors. In some cases, hiring a professional live-in caregiver may be necessary to provide round-the-clock supervision and support.

4. Visual and Auditory Hallucinations

Hallucinations, where seniors see or hear things that are not real, can be distressing for both the individual and their caregiver. While medications may help reduce hallucinations, engaging in comforting and grounding activities, redirecting attention, and reassuring your loved one can help alleviate short-term episodes of hallucinations.

5. Unfounded Accusations

Seniors with Alzheimer’s may sometimes make unfounded accusations against loved ones or caregivers. These accusations stem from confusion and memory lapses. Distraction techniques, such as redirecting attention to enjoyable activities or providing a soothing environment, can help mitigate their paranoia and foster a sense of security.

6. Attempts to Self Soothe

Alzheimer’s can manifest physical symptoms, including pacing, rocking, or hand-wringing, as a response to over-stimulation or anxiety. Engaging in familiar activities, playing favourite music, or providing a structured routine can help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of calm for your loved one.

7. Physical Aggression

Physical aggression is a serious challenge in Alzheimer’s care and requires immediate attention. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to identify potential triggers and develop strategies to minimize aggression. Creating a safe and peaceful environment, maintaining a consistent routine, and utilizing calming techniques can help reduce the likelihood of aggressive behaviour.

8. Depression and Isolation

Depression is common among seniors with Alzheimer’s, but it can be challenging to diagnose due to overlapping symptoms. Collaborating with psychologists and therapists experienced in dementia care can assist in assessing and treating depression. Medications and therapy approaches that target mood stabilization can be beneficial. Encouraging social interaction, engaging in meaningful activities, and providing emotional support are also vital to combat social isolation.

Caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s disease requires a comprehensive understanding of the behavioural challenges they may face. By implementing strategies to manage these behaviours, caregivers can enhance the well-being and quality of life for their aging loved ones. If you need professional Alzheimer’s home care in Calgary, consider reaching out to Saige Homecare, where specialized care approaches are employed to support seniors with Alzheimer’s and memory-related conditions. Remember, with knowledge and support, you can provide compassionate care to those who matter most.