Lesson Outline

The Behavioural and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia (BPSD) are a collection of different signs and symptoms that may come with dementia. These symptoms can be particularly distressing for caregivers.

  • Some behaviours include apathy, agitation, sleep disturbances and, wandering.
  • Some psychological symptoms may include delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, depression or anxiety.

Apathy is a lack of feeling, emotion, interest and concern. It’s a state of indifference, or not showing emotions. Apathy is a result of damage to the brain. There are no treatments for it. By understanding that apathy is not a choice that the person with dementia makes, it may make it easier for their caregivers to cope with it.

Depression is a mood disorder that can affect a person’s thoughts, behaviours, feelings and sense of well-being. Anxiety is an emotion characterized by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil. It is often accompanied by nervous behaviour, abnormal feelings in the body, and an inability to control what we are thinking about. There are drug and non-drug treatments for both depression and anxiety for those with dementia.

Learn the answers to the following questions:

What is apathy and how does a caregiver cope with it?

What are depression and anxiety and how are they treated in those with dementia?