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How to Manage Hallucinations and Delusions Caused by Alzheimer’s

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Seniors with Alzheimer’s can experience hallucinations and delusions caused by changes in the brain. This can be frightening and stressful for both a senior and his or her family, especially when these situations first occur and the reasons why are unclear. Though helping your elderly loved one manage these symptoms may be difficult at first, Roseville senior care experts have a few suggestions to help make it easier.

Use Distractions

If possible, try to divert your loved one’s attention with conversation or some other activity he or she enjoys. Soft, relaxing background music may relieve the anxiety that often accompanies hallucinations, and it may also help to take your loved one to another room. A well-lit room with familiar faces may dispel a hallucination and help your loved one be less frightened.

Modify the Environment

Hallucinations and delusions can be triggered by misinterpreted environmental factors. You can help your loved one by reducing or eliminating background noises such as radios and TVs. You should also turn on additional lights in the room. Shadows can cause strange reflections and make surfaces look distorted, which can increase confusion and agitation in individuals with Alzheimer’s. You may also want to cover or remove mirrors if your loved one thinks his or her reflection is a stranger.

Don’t Argue

You should not try to convince your loved one his or her ideas or hallucinations are false. This will only increase your loved one’s anxiety and may even cause him or her to become aggressive. Instead, you should remain calm and supportive. Offer reassurance by letting your loved one know you are there to keep him or her safe. You should acknowledge you realize he or she is afraid and try to remove the source of the fear if possible.

Maintain Perspective

When providing Roseville Alzheimer’s care for your loved one, you may become the target of his or her delusional ideas. Individuals with Alzheimer’s often accuse those closest to them of stealing, lying, or hiding things. This paranoia is a symptom of the disease and is not an accurate indication of your loved one’s feelings. While it may be difficult to hear your loved one make these accusations, you should not take it personally. 

Providing care for a loved one with Alzheimer’s can be both rewarding and challenging. If you need help meeting your loved one’s complex care needs, turn to Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s and dementia care in Roseville, and our caregivers can maximize your loved one’s safety and comfort while providing mental and emotional support. Call 916.226.3737 today to speak with a qualified Care Manager and schedule your free in-home consultation.