What to do if a loved one is experiencing memory loss, delusions or erratic behavior


While there are many, many reasons people experience memory loss, delusions, and erratic behavior, these are not normal aging-related issues. If you have an elderly loved one experiencing behavior, mood and emotional challenges like these, he or she should have an immediate evaluation by a doctor.

Jennifer Prell, president of Elderwerks Educational Services, offers a list of things to look for which could be causing an older individual to undergo a sudden behavioral change:

  • A complete analysis of their blood (complete blood count – CBC) will help evaluate overall health and detect disorders.
  • Check for a urinary tract infection (UTI).
  • Bring a list of all medications to their primary physician to see if they are appropriate doses or if there is a problem with any of them being taken at the same time.
  • Depression and lack of sleep can cause dementia-like symptoms.
  • If there are problems finding the words in speaking or writing this may be a sign of dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, but also is a sign of other issues such as a stroke.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse can cause many behaviors.
  • Poor judgment may or may not be a sign of dementia. However, if the person always showed poor judgment it will continue as they age.
  • A neuropsychologist will evaluate the brain to see what may be causing changes in behavior.
  • A neuropsychiatrist will prescribe medications to help control the behaviors, mood swings, delusions, and possibly slow down memory loss.
  • Please note Alzheimer’s is not curable and medications for this disease sometimes slow the progression of the disease, but not always.
  • There are clinical trials for those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and family members over 60 who have family with the disease.

While this list is not a complete list of reasons for changes in behavior, it can be a start for you and your family to help you help your loved one.

Elderwerks Educational Services : 251 E. Northwest Highway, Palatine, IL 60067: 855.462.0100 : https://www.elderwerks.org/

Digital Access

Digital Access
Access nwherald.com and all Shaw Local content from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more! News you use every day! Daily, weekend and Sunday packages.

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Stay connected to us wherever you are! Get breaking news updates along with other area information sent to you as a text message to your wireless device.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Plan your weekend and catch up on the news with our newsletters.