What Do You Do When Alzheimer’s Impacts Impulse Control?

One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s isn’t one you spend as much time thinking about. Alzheimer’s brings images of forgetting a person’s name, where one lives, and the date/time. Alzheimer’s also affects impulse control and can lead to some difficult situations.

Senior Care in West Windsor NJ: Alzheimer's and Impulse Control
Senior Care in West Windsor NJ: Alzheimer’s and Impulse Control

What is Impulse Control?

Impulse control is the ability to prevent yourself from doing things that are considered inappropriate or harmful. Someone with a lack of impulse control might see an appealing pair of shoes and buy them even though the rent is due and money’s tight.

With Alzheimer’s patients, impulse control can lead a person to say things that are very out of character. Your mom may see a neighbor’s new baby and tell the neighbor that the baby is the ugliest baby she’s ever seen. Impulse control issues with Alzheimer’s can cause a person to take off clothes. Your dad is outside gardening and strips off all of his clothes when he gets hot. He’s now standing in the front yard completely naked.

What Can You Do to Prevent Problems?

You can’t scold your mom or dad when impulse control isn’t an option. You have to stick with the mantra of “it’s not them, it’s the disease.” Without reacting, simply wrap dad up in a towel or blanket. If your mom says something offensive, move her from the situation and later explain to the neighbor that it’s a symptom of Alzheimer’s.

Take family and friends aside and discuss the lesser known symptoms of Alzheimer’s. You may want to bring up impulse control with neighbors, too. This way, everyone knows what can happen and isn’t taken by surprise if it does. It’s better to address potential situations before they happen.

Look into Senior Care Services and Respite Care.

By the time your mom or dad is in the moderate or middle stages of Alzheimer’s, daily care is needed. From medication reminders to help cooking meals, your parent will need someone around each day. You may decide to take on that care and become the family caregiver. You might not have the time. Either way, senior care services can help.

Senior care professionals can spend the day with your mom or dad while you’re at work. If you quit your job to care for your parent, caregivers offer respite care services. You can go out with friends or run errands alone.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in West Windsor, NJ or the surrounding areas, please call Independence Home Care today at 609-208-1111 for more information


Teresa Sajkowski RN BSN CHPN

Teresa Sajkowski RN BSN CHPN

Owner of Always Responsive Home Care

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Senior Care in West Windsor NJ