Alzheimer’s Disease and Personality Changes – What you can do

      Alzheimer’s Disease and Personality Changes

One of the most distressing aspects of Alzheimer’s disease is the complete personality change suffered by many people.

“This is especially distressing for the relatives and friends of the person with Alzheimer’s. The general behavior and personality of someone with Alzheimer’s often seems to be in complete contrast to typical behavior exhibited throughout the patient’s life,” says Barbara Jones.

Another facet of personality change due to Alzheimer’s disease is the occasional emergence of an underlying feature of the person’s character which had previously been well-hidden.

For instance, previously unnoticed spiteful traits can be revealed. There is also a common tendency in Alzheimer’s disease, mainly in the later stages, for anxiety, nervousness or verbal and physical aggression to surface.

Many Alzheimer’s sufferers retain their personality, albeit with accompanying memory loss and orientation problems. However, others can exhibit varying mood swings which can fluctuate from being ecstatically happy to very sad.

In the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease, these underlying traits can become very prominent and problematic. For example, combating verbal aggression or continuing anxiety may require continuous reassurance from caregivers and friends.

Very often personal hygiene becomes a major issue for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Washing and bathing often becomes sporadic or is forgotten altogether. Additionally, those who were formerly very fastidious in areas of hygiene may become very lax. This can be very distressing for the friends and relatives of the person who is ill with Alzheimer’s, especially if clothing is stained with urine or feces.

It is common for the person with Alzheimer’s to leave the toilet before they are entirely finished or to be inefficient in cleaning after relieving themselves. Therefore, odor as well as soiled clothes and hands can be problematic. Undressing in public and inadvertent genital exhibition or fondling can also become a problem if not carefully monitored. It can be a source of untold embarrassment to relatives and caregivers.

It is important for caregivers and relatives to take into account that the acts of soiling or untoward behavior need to addressed while remembering the value of maintaining the patient’s dignity at all times. Dignity is a very precious commodity when suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, as their dignity is often all they have remaining.

About The Author
Barbara Jones contributes to several online magazines, including http://healthy-line.com and http://info-healthy.com.

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Comments

  1. Brenda says

    I’m dealing with my Mother in my home. She has mod Alzheimer’s & she has really started to get mean. She has also started to have TIA’s. I don’t know what to do. I can’t keep her in my home much longer but she doesn’t have enough money to pay for a assisted living facility. This article tells exactly the problems I’ve been having with her.

    • Sandy Spencer says

      Hello Brenda,
      Oh I’m sorry for your situation. It is can be really distressing, especially if they are angry or act-out.
      Has she seen her doctor recently? Sometimes they may have a physical problem; UTI, etc., but they don’t realize what the problem is. It just makes them angry instead.

      If there are no physical problems, sometimes a physician can prescribe a small sedative, just to calm them.
      It sounds ridiculous but a bowl of chicken soup would calm my Mom. Sometimes we just never know what will work.

      I’ll post your question on our blog at Facebook as well and we’ll get more opinions or ideas of things that might help with your Mom. http://www.facebook.com/AlzheimersSupport

      Our prayers are with you, Brenda,

      Sandy

  2. Lamysella says

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

    Cheers
    Christian, iwspo.net

  3. admin says

    I’m glad you found that article helpful. Personality Changes by the Alzheimers Patient can be very disturbing.

    Thank you for visiting…
    Sandy

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