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Psychological Issues & Challenging Behavior


Updated: June 22, 2006

Caregiver tips for challenging behavior

Psychological Issues and Challenging Behavior Some psychologists say'reinforcement' is central to the way we behave. In other words we repeat certain behaviors because we get something positive from doing them and we restrain ourselves from other activities because of the potential for punishment of some sort. Learning never stops but certainly can change in diseases such as Alzheimer’s. So in Alzheimer's the learnt responses from the past may be disorganised or inappropriate as the person misperceives their surroundings and attempts to form, what for them, is a course of behavior likely to achieve their needs.

A change in mood state, such as depression, can certainly result from Alzheimer's. Equally, mood states can follow the person into Alzheimer's. A mood state such as depression can be just as much a challenge to the caregiver as hypomania. Progression into dementia is sometimes classified as simple or paranoid.

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