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5 Common Behaviors of Dementia

close up of elderly woman staring vacantly and demonstrating one of 5 common behaviors of dementia

Cognitive concerns like dementia are prevalent among seniors, and recognizing the signs early on can help slow progression. When a loved one is showing behaviors of dementia, it is important to seek memory care services. Find out five common signs of dementia below, or reach out to Westminster Place at 903.329.6520.

What Is Dementia?

Dementia is an umbrella term for several different types of cognitive decline that are typically found in older adults. When someone has dementia, they experience a loss in cognitive functioning and may have difficulty thinking, reasoning, and remembering. 

Dementia includes conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body dementia, and vascular dementia. While some forms of dementia can occur at almost any age, they become increasingly prevalent after age 60.

5 Common Behaviors of Dementia

Recognizing the signs and indicators of dementia are important for receiving a diagnosis and getting on the proper treatment path. There are several different dementia stages, and it may be tricky to notice the common behaviors of dementia early on. 

Knowing the signs can also help family members and caregivers to be better prepared for navigating these concerns. Below are five common signs of Alzheimer’s behavior and other types of dementia:

1. Confusion and Forgetfulness

Confusion and forgetfulness are often the earliest indicators of dementia or cognitive decline. Your loved one may be easily confused by simple or straightforward information. They may find themselves forgetting common information or details they would otherwise know, such as names and addresses.

2. Irritability or Mood Swings

When it comes to the most common dementia personality changes, the first signs of cognitive decline include irritability. You may notice your loved one experiencing mood swings or becoming agitated by minor inconveniences. This behavior typically increases as the disease progresses.

3. Getting Lost and Wandering

Many people who are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia exhibit wandering behavior early on in the disease. If you notice your senior loved one becoming prone to wandering off or frequently getting lost, it strongly indicates cognitive concerns. This behavior often worsens over time, leading to the need for supervision.

4. Change in Hygiene Habits

If your loved one is suddenly showering less, not combing their hair, or wearing dirty clothing, it could be another sign of early dementia personality changes. The first signs of Alzheimer’s disease include forgetfulness and a change in hygiene habits. 

It is important to note that these signs can also indicate mental health concerns, so receiving a proper diagnosis from a professional is essential.

5. Sundowning

Sundowning is a specific dementia behavior that most people have never heard of until they witness it firsthand. 

As dementia stages continue to progress, your may notice that your loved one is easily irritable and restless in the later hours of the day. This is referred to as “sundowning.” Individuals with this symptom are likely to become distressed or confused as the day goes on.

Treating Alzheimer’s Behavior at Westminster Place

When you see signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s behavior in your senior loved one, it is important to seek a diagnosis and begin proper treatment. Early detection and acknowledgment of dementia can also help caregivers know what to expect as the disease progresses. 

Buckner Retirement Services offers a variety of senior services at Westminster Place, including memory care. Our compassionate memory care professionals can help:

  • Slow the progression of dementia
  • Manage dementia symptoms and behaviors
  • Assist caregivers in navigating the disease
  • Promote the overall well-being of affected seniors

To learn more about memory care and other services that can enhance the lives of older adults with dementia, contact Westminster Place at 903.329.6520 or reach out online.