Describing the behavioural and psychological signs and symptoms of dementia.
Psychological Aspects of Dementia
Delusions (ﬁxed false beliefs):The most common forms of delusions are persecutory and paranoia, such as: People are stealing their things; The spouse is an impostor; Another person is in their house ;Talking to a mirror as though it was another person; People are not who they are.
Hallucinations (hearing or seeing something that is not there): Holds conversation with imaginary people; Imagines attacks on self, and so on.
Misidentiﬁcations:Falsely identifies relatives; Misidentifies people on TV.
Appears Depressed and anxious: Depression and anxiety in elderly may not occur because of age as much as because of deterioration in health and functionality.
A person with dementia will over react to a minor stress (often seen in the early stages of the condition). The initial symptoms of catastrophic reactions are agitation, restlessness, such as ﬁdgeting, facial reddening (ﬂushing) and refusing to comply with requests or to an act, e.g. refusal to eat. These symptoms escalate to behaviours such as, yelling,screaming, pacing, banging items and posturing.
Sundowning is when the person with dementia experiences an acute increase in disorientation, deterioration in cognition, sudden onset of restlessness and confusion in the late afternoon into the early evening. It can present with an increase in resistive behaviours, delusions,disorientation and disorganisation. Often the person will have less energy for activities and demands and seem more impulsive.
Wandering is also a common behaviour in the early to middle stages of dementia.Wandering is generally purposeful but is a cause for concern as the person is at high risk of falling and accidentally harming himself/herself or others, and/or getting lost(unable to find their way back).
For more information please read dementia-signs-and-symptoms