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  • Kathryn Watson

5 Common Dementia Behavior Symptoms

Updated: Jun 29, 2022

Dementia is a cognitive condition that slowly depletes the affected person’s memory. ‘Dementia-related behaviors’ is a term that encompasses the most common signs and symptoms of this condition. These behaviors start to surface as a result of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

And Dementia caregivers need to be aware of these behaviors. This will help them understand how to extend the best care to their loved ones. These behaviors are also telltale signs that someone close to you might be suffering from memory loss and cognitive impairment. Memory loss conditions like dementia are the most obvious thing that gives rise to these behaviors. However, external influences tend to make these behaviors worse. These risk factors include:

● Sundowning

● Unfulfilled basic needs (hunger, sleep, etc.)

● Changes in environment

5 Common Dementia Behaviors

Around 55 million people suffer from dementia all over the world. This is why everyone needs to be aware of what behaviors could indicate the onset of this condition. Over the course of the disease, these dementia behavior symptoms tend to become more acute. As a result, they can also affect the health and safety of the patient. Timely diagnosis is necessary and will benefit the dementia caregiver and the patient both.

1. State of Confusion

Confusion or disorientation is the most common behavioral symptom of dementia. If you notice that your loved ones display this behavior more often than usual, this should be a cause of concern. And you should consult a medical professional for a proper diagnosis.

A person who is experiencing confusion may start to forget names and appear stunted at times. Furthermore, they might appear at a loss of words, more so than usual. They may also find it difficult to form sentences and retain new information. Plus, as the disease progresses, these symptoms will become worse. The affected person may withdraw and avoid any communication. This is because they are unable to understand what is happening to them. Confusion is the most common dementia behavior that results from memory loss.

2. Changes in Mood

Changes in mood and an overall disinterest in activities they liked before is another common behavioral symptom of dementia. If a loved one starts behaving out of character, this could be construed as an early sign of dementia. Changes in mood often come from the inability to remember basic things. Since the affected person may not understand their condition, they will act out in various ways.

If a loved one appears withdrawn all of a sudden, you should not take this lightly. This holds especially true if the person in question doesn’t particularly have any history of depression. They might refuse to participate in activities they enjoyed previously. And they may also start to refuse food, which will require help immediately. Over time, dementia will make these mood changes more severe. This could lead to the next behavioral symptom of dementia.

3. Aggressiveness

When a perfectly healthy person starts to undergo memory loss, this can come out in several ways. If someone cannot remember basic details, they will naturally feel frustrated. As a result, aggressiveness and anger are common signs of dementia. Additionally, this behavior tends to worsen as the disease progresses, which can be dangerous for the patient and caregiver both. You might find the dementia patient being verbally or physically abusive.

If you see that a loved one is behaving more aggressively than usual, you should get them the help they need. This is especially true if they also display some of the other dementia behavior symptoms mentioned here. And if a person with dementia becomes more aggressive than usual, you should consider a memory care home for them. As a layman, you may not be equipped to handle their aggression. This could prove harmful for you and the dementia patient. Therefore it is best to enlist professional help.

4. Sleep Disturbances

Sleep disturbances are common with the onset and progression of dementia. Sleep apnea also tends to be as high as 70% in dementia patients. Additionally, people with dementia experience an overall restlessness due to the inability to understand and comprehend things. As a result, they find it difficult to fall asleep at night. Even if they do, it is hardly ever consistent. Due to this fragmented sleep, they might start to doze off at odd times in the day.

The effects of sundowning on dementia patients also make these sleep disturbances worse. The inability to sleep properly will escalate irritation and aggression. This lack of proper sleep will also negatively impact the health of a dementia patient. If you notice such erratic sleep patterns, you should get help.

5. Hallucinations

Delusions and hallucinations are other common behavioral symptoms of dementia. The affected person might start to see and hear things and voices that are not present. Due to this, they might appear more agitated than usual. This behavioral symptom can also be hard to handle for a dementia caregiver. Hallucinations are a result of changes in the brain. This behavior is more common during the middle and last stages of dementia.

A dementia patient who is experiencing hallucinations has a tendency to harm themselves and those around them. They will see things that aren’t there, so they might act out accordingly. This is extremely stressful for the person experiencing it. At the same time, it is very challenging for the dementia caregiver to deal with. If you see your loved ones displaying this behavior, you should consider a memory care home for them.


Taking care of a dementia patient can be very challenging for any person. This guide highlights the 5 common dementia behavior symptoms that tend to worsen as the disease progresses. If you notice any of these signs, you should seriously consider getting your loved ones the help that they need.

Look for a memory care home that is able to extend the best care to your loved ones. Memory care homes have professionals who know how to handle each of these situations. With the right treatment and care, you can ensure there is no threat to the safety of dementia patients.

In honor of our founder Pat Mack, we are carrying on the tradition of caring for our residents in "The Light Heart Way"

Light Heart Memory Care homes are specially designed for 8 residents. This gives us the ability to give personalized care to each and every resident.

Contact us to learn more about Light Heart Memory care,

or book a free consultation.

Phone: 281.282.0770


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