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Demanding to leave during an activity or event they had been looking forward to.

Waking up in the middle of the night to get dressed and start the day Not recognizing familiar settings, home, or family late in the afternoon

Accusing family members of stealing items the patient has hidden -- or blaming "outsiders" for taking things

Threatening family members with physical violence

Becoming irritated or belligerent late in the day

Refusing to bathe, go to the doctor, or out socially for no apparent reason
Walking away from home or getting lost

Telling stories you know aren't true

Thinking there are extra people or children in your home.

Seeming selfish

These behaviors may seem mean-spirited and purposeful, but they are simply symptoms of the patientís brain disease. These behaviors are normal and expected in mid-disease. It is important to realize that the patient can not control these sudden behavior changes, but you can help to prevent or minimize them. While not everything works all the time, we can eliminate much of the "acting out" behavior by making simple changes in our behavior and the environment. The changes help the patient to succeed. Unexpected changes in behavior are often triggered by things you can control -- once you know how. The purpose of this pamphlet is to teach you what triggers those unexpected problem behaviors and how to change the patient's routine to prevent them.

Supported by: Iowa Scottish Rite Masonic Foundation,
National Caregiving Training Project,
University of Iowa College of Nursing,
Gerontology Nursing Intervention Center
Research Development and intervention Core

Developed by: Geri R. Hall, Ph.D., ARNP, CNS
Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
Mayo Clinic Scottsdale
13400 E. Shea Boulvard
Scottsdale, Arizona 85259
Phone: 602-301-8111


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