One of the most distressing aspect for the relatives and friends
of the sufferers of Alzheimer's disease is the complete change
of the patient's personality. The personality and general behavior
of Alzheimer sufferers in the later stages of the disease often
seems to be in complete contrast to the normal behavior they
have always exhibited in their previous life.
A person suffering from Alzheimer's disease may suffer from
rapid mood changes - from calm to tears to anger and rage - for
apparently no reason. Their personality changes dramatically,
by becoming extremely confused, suspicious, and fearful. Where
they were independent before, they now become overtly dependent
on a family member or a carer.
There are changes of personality to such an extent that a
person, who was very active before, suddenly becomes passive,
sitting for hours in one place, say, in front of the TV, sleeping
for longer hours - which is not normal for him/her, and failing
or not willing to do the usual activities, which were normal
in the past.
Another quality of Alzheimer's disease and changes in personality
is that the previously well hidden underlying features of the
person's character sometimes come to the fore. Spiteful traits,
which were not present before, can be revealed. A tendency to
anxiety, nervousness or aggression, both verbal and physical,
can surface again specially in the later stages.
The personality changes may affect different Alzheimer sufferers
differently. Some may remain their old self, albeit with accompanying
memory loss and orientation problems, where as others may suffer
varying mood swings which can fluctuate from being ecstatically
happy to very sad.
The underlying traits, such as verbal aggression, and continuing
anxiety become very prominent and cause lots of problems in the
later stages of the disease. The patient will require continuous
reassurance from carers and friends.
Personal hygiene is another major issue with Alzheimer disease
sufferers. They forget to wash and bathe and gradually it becomes
very infrequent. Alzheimer's disease sufferers who were very
particular about their hygiene etc become very negligent.
Clothing regularly become stained with urine and faeces, and
this is very distressing to their friends, relatives and carers.
Many Alzheimer sufferers leave the toilet before they are finished,
or they do not clean their butt or private parts correctly. "Body
odor" therefore especially can become a problem, as can
also soiled clothing and hands.
They are so disoriented and forgetful that at times they undress
in public and "accidentally" flash or fondle their
genitals. This is a major problem and need to be carefully monitored.
This can also cause untold embarrassment to carers, relatives,
and everyone around.
Sometimes it is forgotten by some carers and relatives that
it isn't the act of soiling or untoward behavior that needs to
be taken into account, but the importance of dignity being maintained
at all times. Dignity is a very precious commodity to own when
suffering from Alzheimer's disease, as this is often all they
If you see and recognize the above warning signs in your loved
ones, or even in yourself, immediately consult your doctor. To
avail of appropriate treatment and care, it is important to diagnose
Alzheimer's disease early. Sometimes you may feel these symptoms
of mood swings and memory lapses to be normal for an ageing person,
and you may be correct, but the symptoms in an Alzheimer's patient
are more severe. Therefore, it is always better to worry on the
side of caution and opt for medical consultations.
Please visit http://www.treat-alzheimers.com for
more useful information on Alzheimer's disease, signs, symptoms,
treatment, medication, memory loss, and other related facts.