Dementia often causes difficult behaviors in those we love due to confusion or memory issues. Your loved one may also become more easily agitated, have mood swings, wander, try to manipulate the situation, or show poor judgment. These dementia behaviors—and several others—are normal. But, for caregivers, they create unique challenges. While you can’t take these behaviors away, you can use tools to manage them.
Agitation is the most common reason Americans place loved ones with dementia in nursing homes. There are more than 5 million Americans with dementia,1 and 80% of them may develop behavioral symptoms such as aggression, hallucinations, or delusions at some point..
As the geriatric population grows, health care practitioners will increasingly encounter distressed caregivers of dementia patients asking for help in handling difficult behaviors. Though most agitation is probably a result of deteriorative changes, health care professionals can influence behaviors.