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Auckland DHB Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) Community Team

Public Service, Mental Health

Dementia With Challenging Behaviours

Dementia is a disease of the brain usually of a chronic or progressive nature in which there is a decline in function including memory, thinking, orientation, comprehension, calculation, language and judgement.

The impairments of cognitive function are commonly accompanied and occasionally preceded by deterioration in emotional control, social behaviour or motivation (WHO 1992).

Sufferers of dementia can present with behaviours which can sometimes be quite difficult to manage (Behavioural Psychological Symptoms of Dementia). These can include:-

  • hallucinations/delusions
  • wandering
  • aggression/physical harm to self and others
  • depression/agitation
  • screaming, crying
  • disinhibition
  • intrusiveness.


Prior to any treatment we will contact your GP to rule out any physical cause.

  • Assessment of behavioural disturbance by an appropriate clinician
  • Behavioural intervention, education and advice
  • Psychological interventions
  • Pharmacological management
  • Environmental management.

This page was last updated at 9:30AM on July 1, 2021.