Potential Causes of Problem Behaviors
Reaction to Loss: We all rely on input from our environment to guide us in activities and relationships. An individual with dementia has lost both the benefit of such input and the ability to inform us of their internal world. This may cause fear, insecurity and frustration.
Inability to Meet Basic Needs: Hunger, dehydration, elimination problems and fatigue can produce behavioral changes. They may show their discomfort through agitated and aggressive behavior.
Medical Problems: Pain and discomfort from a medical problem or medication side effects can go unnoticed because of the individual’s inability to report it.
Psychiatric Disorders: Individuals who are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder are likely to exhibit more behavioral problems if they develop dementia.
Sensory Impairment: Individuals with hearing or visual impairments tend to be more paranoid, hallucinate more, and feel more frightened and frustrated.
Factors Related to the Caregiver: A caregiver’s attitude and knowledge of dementia affect the care of individuals with the disease. The more one knows about dementia, the more likely they will be to understand behavioral problems.