It’s unfortunate, but a common symptom of Alzheimer’s disease includes personality changes in the elderly. As the disease deteriorates the brain, the initial behavioral changes in Alzheimer’s disease can provoke a previously calm loved one to have outbursts or cause a shy, withdrawn person to become uninhibited suddenly.
It can be challenging for a family member to manage personality changes in the elderly. It can also be emotionally upsetting for a loved one to witness these changes without knowing how to address them.
Three personality changes in the elderly
Some of the most common dementia personality changes include:
- Agitation: Your loved one may begin to pace around the house. Certain people, events or sudden changes in living circumstances may cause him or her to become anxious, upset, and visibly agitated.
- Loss of inhibitions or judgment: A person with Alzheimer’s disease may suddenly lose their inhibitions or their ability to judge appropriate safe behavior. They may become overly friendly with strangers and ask them for food or money. They may give away money and personal financial information to telemarketers.
- Hallucinations: Alzheimer’s disease may cause hallucinations. People suffering from the illness may see individuals who aren’t there. They may believe that people are in the house to harm them, or they may believe that they regularly visit with a loved one who died many years ago.