Understanding symptoms

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Dementia can affect the personality and behaviour of the person living with the disease. Learn more about understanding and responding to these changes associated with dementia.

Understanding symptoms

Behaviours associated with complex and challenging mental health, dementia or other neurological conditions include aggression, wandering and agitation.

These apparent changes in the personality of the person with the disease are a major source of distress both to the person who is presenting the behaviours and to those who experience them – the caregiver, the family members, and the service providers in all sectors of the healthcare system.


Changes in mood and behaviour

Apparent changes in the personality of the person living with dementia are a major source of distress both to the person who is presenting the behaviours and to those who experience them.

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Understanding symptoms: Changes in mood and behaviour


Delusions and hallucinations

Hallucinations and delusions are symptoms of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. With hallucinations or delusions, people do not experience things as they really are.

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Understanding symptoms: Delusions and hallucinations


Repetitive behaviours

Understand why a person living with dementia may be repeating the same action, again and again, and learn how to manage this behaviour.

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Understanding symptoms: Repetitive behaviours


Restlessness or "sundowning"

When someone becomes confused, anxious, aggressive, agitated, or restless consistently later in the day (usually late afternoon or early evening), this is called sundowning.

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Understanding symptoms: Restlessness or "sundowning"


Sexual behaviour

Dementia does not change the need for love and affection. It can, however, affect a person’s interest in sex, either increasing or decreasing it.

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Understanding symptoms: Sexual behaviour