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Alzheimer’s Care: Understanding Mood and Behavior Changes

Alzheimer’s is a complicated disease with an assortment of symptoms that often overlap as the disease progresses. One common characteristic of Alzheimer’s is mood and behavior changes that can range from mild to severe, sometimes worsening at certain times of the day.

As a leading provider of Columbus Alzheimer’s home care, we wanted to share some information about mood and behavior changes associated with the disease. By doing so, families will better be able to help their loved ones prepare for future care needs, while ensuring safety and comfort as he disease progresses.

What Causes Mood and Behavioral Changes

The main cause of mood and behavioral changes in Alzheimer’s patients is a steady deterioration of brain cells. Mood changes can also be caused by environmental factors, such as being in a place with a lot of activity or being in an unfamiliar place, and certain medications. Additional situations affecting mood and behavior may include:

  • Moving to a new residence (such as a nursing home)
  • Being around new caregivers
  • Misinterpreting a situation (perceiving threats where none exist)

Varying Degrees of Mood and Behavioral Changes

During the early stages of Alzheimer’s, mood changes tend to be less dramatic, such as mild irritability and anxiety or bouts of depression. During mid-to-later stages of the disease, patients may exhibit apparently unfounded anger, have uncharacteristic emotional outbursts or experience hallucinations where they react to things that aren’t really there.

What Can Be Done

Don’t take mood changes personally. If mood and behavioral changes appear suddenly, however, start with a thorough medical evaluation to determine if medications or certain medical conditions, such as an undiagnosed UT infection, may be causing the changes. Make some adjustments to their environment to increase comfort, such as surrounding them with familiar objects. Keeping a journal or diary of mood and behavior changes can also be beneficial. It can be shared with a patient’s doctor to determine patterns that can help with prescribing medications or making other treatment adjustments.

Help with Alzheimer’s Care

If you find that your loved one’s complex care needs are more than you can manage independently, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Columbus today. We are leading provider of Columbus elder care and have highly trained and experienced Alzheimer’s caregivers who can provide physical, emotional and cognitive support for your loved one, while helping manage symptoms safely and effectively. For more information about Alzheimer’s care, schedule a complimentary, no-obligation with a friendly Care Manager by calling 614-481-8888.