Aggressive behaviours can be verbal (swearing, screaming, shouting and making threats), as well as physical (hitting out, damaging property or physical violence towards another person. Understanding the causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
Agitated behaviours include getting upset, crying, pacing, fiddling, constant or repetitive talking, repeating words, phrases or questions, swearing or screaming. Understanding the causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
Anxious behaviours can include restlessness, pacing or fidgeting, doing the same things over and over, clinging to someone when they try to leave, and shadowing (following someone around closely). Understanding the causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
Depression and dementia
Depression can refer to a temporary depressed mood or a more serious condition that needs treatment. It can be hard to know if someone living with dementia is depressed. Understanding the signs of depression can help you find ways to provide ongoing support.
Dementia can affect someone’s inhibitions. This means they may stop following the usual social rules about how to behave. Disinhibited behaviours can seem tactless, rude or offensive. Understanding the causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
Hallucinations and false ideas
People living with dementia sometimes experience false perceptions or ideas. Although hallucinations and delusions are imaginary, they seem very real to the person experiencing them. They can cause extreme anxiety and panic. Understanding the types and causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
This page discusses some ways to think about any changes in behaviours that are occurring as a result of dementia. It describes a problem solving approach that may help you manage any behaviours if and when they arise.
Restless behaviour in the afternoon
People living with dementia may become more confused, restless or insecure in the late afternoon or early evening (when the sun is going down). Some doctors or medical specialists may refer to this behaviour as sundowning. Understanding the causes of the behaviour can help you find ways to respond.
This page looks at the wandering behaviour of some people with dementia. The reasons for wandering are discussed, as well as some suggestions for ways to manage it.
More information about dementia is available in the Help Sheets section of our website or to find out more, call the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500.