Unusual behaviour

People with dementia can act in different and unpredictable ways. It is important to remember that the person is not acting this way on purpose. Whatever the behaviour, try to identify the cause and possible solution.

Bold behaviour
Individuals with dementia may forget that they are married and begin to flirt or make inappropriate advances toward others.

When there is unusual, inappropriate behaviour, try to distract the person with another activity or lead him or her into a private place. Avoid getting angry or laughing at the person.

Inappropriate dressing
The person may forget how to dress, or take off clothes at inappropriate times and in unusual settings. For example, a woman may remove a blouse or skirt simply because it is too tight or uncomfortable. It may also be because they need to use the toilet but cannot communicate their needs. Help the person dress by laying out clothes in the order they need to be put on. Choose clothing that is simple and comfortable.

If a person wears too many clothes, or does not do them up correctly, ask yourself: 'who is it a problem for?' and 'does it really matter?' rather than getting cross and making them agitated. It will be less stressful for you and the person with dementia.

The person with dementia may not understand or remember that merchandise must be paid for. He or she may casually walk out of the store without paying - unaware of any wrongdoing.

Have your loved one carry a wallet-size card that states that he or she is memory-impaired. This may prevent the person with memory loss and confusion from feeling embarrassed. These helpcards are available from the Memory Clinic and Jersey Alzheimer's Association.

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Did you know?

The number of people with dementia is increasing rapidly. It is estimated that there are currently 1,400 people in Jersey living with dementia, many of whom have not as yet obtained a formal diagnosis; this number is set to double over the next 25 years.