Does Dementia Cause Apathy?

Apr 22, 2024 | Caregivers

What Is Apathy in Dementia?

Individuals living with dementia often experience apathy. When someone’s become apathetic, they no longer show interest, enthusiasm or concern about their life. They may not notice or show any reaction to what’s going on around them. This is caused by damage to the frontal lobes of the brain – the area that controls motivation and the ability to plan or sequence actions.

Apathy is common with dementia – up to 70% of individuals with dementia experience it – but it can understandably still be a very upsetting experience for you and your family.

Watch the video below to learn the specific steps you can take to help your loved one work through a period of apathy.

Symptoms of Dementia-Related Apathy

  • A lack of energy or motivation to complete daily routine tasks
  • Reduced emotional response to both good and bad events
  • Social withdrawal
  • Diminished desire to participate in activities
  • A lack of concern about their own problems
  • Neglect of hygiene and/or self-care

How Do I Handle Dementia-Related Apathy?

Treatment for apathy is largely non-medical. Instead, focus on making lifestyle changes – provide your loved one with a consistent routine, encourage activities and make sure they’re supported.