Perhaps the greatest challenge facing caregivers of a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia is coping with the behavioral changes that accompany the disease. These include suspicion, depression, repetition and aggression.

Your loved one may accuse you of stealing their things, or question your motives in providing care. They may be unwilling to eat or drink because it’s just not worth the trouble. They may ask you every five minutes about something they deem important, but forgot the answer you gave them. One caregiver shared:
Grandma is always asking where her purse is. It’s a comfort item for her. So now, we make sure her purse is on her walker at all time, it helps her relax.

Or they may suddenly lash out verbally or physically, all typical for the disease.

All of these behaviors can engender fatigue and frustration for caregivers, as well as a sense of loss as our loved one is no longer the person we remember.

The first thing you must do in these situations is to remember that these are all symptoms of the disease. It’s not personal! The second is to realize that there are ways to manage or deflect these behaviors.

Our team has seen it all, and you should always feel free to reach out for help. That’s why we have our websites where you will find useful articles and resources.

We also have our 24-hour crisis line at 800-209-4342. We are here to help you.