In general, the middle-stage of Alzheimer’s disease lasts longer than the other stages. In fact, it can last several years. During the middle-stage, it becomes harder for the person to communicate because of the damage Alzheimer’s disease causes in the brain. The disease can also make it more difficult to perform tasks that have multiple steps, such as dressing. They might also have changes in behavior and be easily frustrated or angered. Some strange behaviors may also crop up, like refusing to take a bath or shower. These personality and behavior changes can be the most difficult aspect of being a family caregiver or elderly care provider to a person with Alzheimer’s disease.
What Personality and Behavior Changes May Occur?
During the middle-stages of Alzheimer’s disease, you might see some of the following changes in your parent:
- Getting angry or upset more easily.
- Signs of depression.
- Misunderstanding what people say.
- Ignoring personal care.
What Can Be Done to Manage Personality and Behavior Changes?
Different techniques work better for certain people, so it may be necessary for you to try many things until you find a solution that works well for you and your parent. Some ideas for handling personality and behavior changes are:
- Stick to a daily routine so that your parent knows what will happen next.
- Do not try to reason with your parent or argue when they disagree with you, show signs of paranoia, or are hallucinating.
- Provide gentle reassurance that your parent is safe and that you will help.
- Try to avoid getting angry or frustrated. If you feel yourself getting angry, step away for a bit until you can calm yourself.
- If your parent is a pacer, give them somewhere safe to walk and make sure they are wearing comfortable shoes with non-skid soles to prevent falling.
- Provide distractions when the person is feeling frightened or experiencing hallucinations. Offer a fun activity, such as a favorite snack or a walk around the block.
- If your parent is experiencing paranoia or fear, turn the television off when a disturbing or violent program comes on. Sometimes people with Alzheimer’s mistake television shows for reality and may think the events in the show are taking place in the room.
- Keep pictures and beloved objects visible since these can comfort a person with Alzheimer’s and make them feel safer.
- Don’t react if your parent accuses you of something. Remember that paranoia is part of the condition, so try not to take it personally.
Seeking Extra Help
The middle-stage of Alzheimer’s disease is the one in which most people begin to need more care. If your parent needs more care than you are able to provide on your own, hiring an elderly care provider can ensure your parent receives the care they need while also allowing you the time you need to focus on your own life. Elderly care providers can help keep your parent safe and comfortable in their own homes longer than if they were on their own. They can help your parent with tasks that may be too difficult in this stage and offer a feeling of security.
If you or someone you know needs elderly care in Rochester, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.