Dementia and Behavior

Monday, June 13, 2011

Almost all people with dementia will have some changes in the way they act. These problems probably are caused by the same things that cause the persons memory loss. Dr. Edward Hill discusses dementia and behavior problems in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

People with dementia can have changes in their personality and the way they act. They might be confused about what is real, and they might see things that are not there. If someone you know has these problems, it does not mean that he or she is mentally ill. Dementia is a medical problem.

Watch for things that trigger the problems, and do your best to avoid them. It is important that other family members learn to simplify things at home. Medicine might help reduce how often and how bad the problems are, but it usually does not cure them.

Some people with dementia can be helped by having a set routine. They should eat meals at the same times each day, and go to bed and wake up at the same time.

It is important to find out if changes in behavior are because of an illness or a reaction to medicine. If someone in your family starts acting differently, you should take him or her to the doctor.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.