Many of the “unusual behaviors” that leave people scratching their head are related to the changes going on in the brain of someone with dementia. There are 7 main abilities that are affected:

  1. Language – this is often the first thing family and friends begin to notice in the early stages of dementia. Words a person uses – or loses – begin to change. They begin to look to others to fill in the blanks in a conversation or story. They can't remember names or begin to describe something instead of using a common word. For example they may talk about the “juice holder” when they can't find the word “cup” in their mind…
  2. Motor Skills – while motor skills may change as part of normal aging, especially if a person doesn't stay active, there will be more significant changes in people with dementia. From fine motor skills to the way they walk and more…
  3. Memory – short term memory or the ability to remember multiple steps in a task become more difficult for people with dementia.
  4. Attention – people with dementia or Alzheimer's become more easily distracted and it's harder for them to stay on task. An avid reader may have a hard time following a book or read the same page over and over unknowingly.
    7 thinking abilities affected by dementia and Alzheimes -fb-PivotToHappy
  5. Perception – the ability to recognize what things are and what they do becomes harder as dementia progresses. They may see a toothbrush but not know to pick it up or what it does.
  6. Reasoning – they may seem to be losing their sense of humor but it is more likely that a person with dementia is losing the ability to understand humor, sayings and more. They take things more literally than ever before…
  7. Judgment – you may see people with dementia making different or poor choices with money, with clothing choices and more…

These are a few things that can cause subtle shifts in personality and behavior over time. When you don't understand the cause and they begin to add it, they can be a big source of conflict and frustration for families.

You don't have to go through this alone…

– Tara Reed