Agitation and Dementia

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Overview

Many people with Alzheimer's disease or another dementia can become agitated or upset easily. Here are some things you can try:

  • Keep distractions to a minimum.
  • Keep noise levels low and voices quiet.
  • Develop simple daily routines for bathing, dressing, eating, and other activities.
  • Ask the person what is upsetting them.

    The person might be able to tell you what the problem is. (Also keep in mind that the person might not know why they become upset.)

  • Identify and remove or avoid any sources of agitation.

    Examples include pictures, objects, music, TV shows, or anything else that seems to disturb the person.

  • Try to build exercise into the person's daily routine.

    A regular program of exercise may help make the person less restless.

  • Check for other illnesses.

    Other illness, such as urinary tract infection, may be causing or adding to the person's distress.

  • Talk about the schedule.

    Remind the person often about upcoming changes in their regular schedule, such as trips or appointments.

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: February 9, 2022

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Myron F. Weiner MD - Psychiatry, Neurology




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