Common Non-Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

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The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often classified as either cognitive (affecting thinking and memory) or non-cognitive (affecting mood and emotion). Non-cognitive symptoms can be the hardest to recognize and manage, and they are among the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. 

1. Difficulty Sleeping

A majority of seniors with Alzheimer’s have difficulty sleeping, and it’s one of several symptoms, including agitation, confusion, and anxiety, that tend to get worse towards the end of the day. Trouble sleeping may be due to any number of things, including changes in a senior’s biological clock, a reduced need for sleep, exhaustion, and trouble separating dreams from reality. 

2. Mood Swings

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s appear anxious and may pace restlessly or become fixated on something. Along with agitation, many seniors with Alzheimer’s have seemingly random mood swings, sometimes going from calm and content to angry or afraid with no warning to family members or in-home caregivers.

3. Social Withdrawal

Caledon home care providers also note that seniors with Alzheimer’s sometimes withdrawal from friends and family members, often during the early stages of the disease. A senior with Alzheimer’s may avoid social activities, hobbies, and gatherings he or she once enjoyed, often due to embarrassment over changes they are noticing in themselves, trouble remembering how to perform a pastime, or because they’re depressed.

4. Depression

About 40 percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s experience depression, and it’s usually the first symptom of the disease. A study recently found that 30 percent of older adults who have symptoms of depression go on to develop some type of memory impairment. 

5. Child-Like Behavior

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s display clingy, child-like behavior that’s referred to as “shadowing.” Seniors who shadow will follow a caregiver around, even into the bathroom or closets, when their anxiety and confusion reaches a high point.

6. Aggressive Behavior

Seniors with advanced Alzheimer’s may lash out at caregivers with cursing, threats, insults, and physical aggression like hitting or biting. Aggressive behavior usually results when someone with AD feels frustrated by his or her present circumstances, has difficulty communicating personal needs, or feels uncomfortable.

Providing care for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. Home Care Assistance is a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, as well as Parkinson’s and stroke care in Caledon. Care is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and all of our care services are backed with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee. For more information, please call 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.