Dementia and Personality Change

This is episode 4 of the Dear Christopher, series where we look at queries and questions from our clients and the questions and queries and conversations across Facebook over the last week.

Memory loss is heavily associated with dementia. But there are many other symptoms and personality change is one.

It’s also perhaps the most shocking and the most difficult to deal with.

A person that has been quiet and reserved for most of their life can become loud and rude.

Personality change is quite often one of the most early signs and often happens before diagnosis.

There are over a 100 different types of dementia. Fronto-temporal dementia, a type of dementia that affects the front and side of the brain is heavily associated with a change in personality and behaviour and a loss of language.

Very often the personality or behaviour change is to do with communication. The person living with dementia may be trying to communicate a need such as being too hot or too col, in pain, needing the toilet. There could be medication side effects or they could be lonely and isolated.

Changes is personality could include agitation, repetitive behaviour, shouting, sleep disturbance, hiding things, hoarding, checking, losing inhibitions and more.

Know that it could be communicating a need, see if you can work out what need it is. But you need to be very careful with the way that you deal with and respond to that need in relation to the change in personality and behaviour.

If you respond to the need as a result of a behaviour directly it could cause the behaviour to increase long term.

It is quite a shocking thing to deal with and it’s often very unexpected too. Dementia is a very inconsistent disease and different people may have different symptoms. The main message of this article and video today is to get across the fact that personality change can be a symptom of dementia.

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