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Strategies for Handling Personality Changes with Dementia

Strategies for Handling Personality Changes with Dementia

If your elderly loved one has dementia, they are going to experience personality changes. At the early stages of this disease, you might not notice a lot of changes in your elderly loved one. However, as time goes on and the disease progresses, your elderly loved one will have more personality changes. With this being said, you might need to know how to handle the personality changes that your elderly loved one experiences. This guide can help you with this process.

Checking to See What Needs Aren’t Met

Some of the personality changes that your elderly loved one experiences might be related to unmet needs. There could be a wide range of things that your elderly loved one needs. Some of the things that you or the senior care provider should check for include the following:

  • Infections
  • Medication side effects
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Social structure changes
  • Emotional needs
  • Psychological needs
  • Hunger and/or thirst

If you and/or the senior care providers have met all of your elderly loved one’s needs, but there are still issues, you can also check for triggers.

Checking for Triggers

With dementia, there is often something that is triggering the personality changes. There is a specific way that you and senior care providers can check for triggers with your elderly loved one. This process includes the following:

  • Describing what is happening or has happened (this might tell you what is going on)
  • Investigating potential causes (based on what has happened, what may have triggered the changes)
  • Creating a plan (after determining the trigger, what plan can help?)
  • Evaluating that plan (Go through that plan to ensure it will, in fact, help your loved one)

If you go through this process, you can help to determine what triggered your elderly loved one’s personality changes.

Harmful Changes

In some instances, the personality changes that someone with dementia experiences are harmful. For instance, if they become severely depressed, this could increase the risk of suicide or other harmful behaviors. If you or the senior care providers suspect that your loved one’s personality changes are harmful, it is important to get them the help they need as soon as possible.


These are some of the strategies for handling personality changes with dementia. If your elderly loved one experiences personality changes, be sure to follow these tips. By doing so, you could help your elderly loved one to feel better.


If you or an aging loved one is considering hiring senior care in Mesa, AZ, please call the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Scottsdale at (480) 284-7360. We are here to help!