Understanding Alzheimer’s Non-Cognitive Symptoms

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Non-Cognitive Symptoms of Alzheimer in Fort Myers, FL

The symptoms of Alzheimer’s are often classified as either cognitive (affecting thinking and memory) or non-cognitive (affecting mood and emotion). Non-cognitive symptoms can be the most difficult to recognize and address, and they’re among the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s. 

Difficulty Sleeping

A majority of seniors with Alzheimer’s have difficulty sleeping, and it’s one of several symptoms, including agitation, confusion, and anxiety, that tend to get worse toward the end of the day. Difficulty sleeping may be due to any number of things, including changes in a senior’s biological clock, a reduced need for sleep, exhaustion, and difficulty separating dreams from reality. 

Mood Swings

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s appear anxious and may pace restlessly or become fixated on various things. In addition, many older adults with the disease also have seemingly random mood swings, sometimes going from calm and content to angry or afraid with no warning to family members or in-home caregivers. 

Caring for loved ones with Alzheimer’s can be overwhelming for family caregivers, and compassionate professional caregivers can provide much-needed support. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care service families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

Social Withdrawal

Seniors with Alzheimer’s sometimes withdraw from friends and family members, often during the early stages of the disease. Older adults with Alzheimer’s may avoid social activities, hobbies, and gatherings they once enjoyed, often due to depression, embarrassment about changes they’re noticing in themselves, or difficulty remembering how to perform pastimes.

Seniors’ reluctance to interact can make it difficult for family caregivers to know what their loved ones need at any given time. Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Fort Myers Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.


About 40 percent of seniors with Alzheimer’s experience depression, and it’s often the first symptom of the disease. A study recently found that 30 percent of older adults who have symptoms of depression go on to develop some type of memory impairment. 

Childlike Behavior

Many seniors with Alzheimer’s display clingy, childlike behavior referred to as “shadowing.” Seniors who shadow will follow caregivers around, even into bathrooms or closets, when their anxiety and confusion reach a high point.

Aggressive Behavior

Seniors with advanced Alzheimer’s may lash out at caregivers with curses, threats, insults, and acts of physical aggression, such as hitting or biting. Aggressive behavior usually results when someone with Alzheimer’s feels frustrated by his or her present circumstances, has difficulty communicating personal needs, or feels uncomfortable.

If your elderly loved one is living with Alzheimer’s and needs help addressing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of Alzheimer’s care. Fort Myers seniors can rely on our revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), an activities-based program that promotes cognitive health and delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. CTM also encourages seniors to engage with others in an enjoyable way and helps them build new routines to look forward to. Call us today at (239) 449-4701 to learn about our high-quality in-home care services.


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