Understanding Hallucinations with Dementia

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Many seniors who are living with dementia often experience hallucinations. In the early stages of the condition, seniors will usually be able to see their perceptions as false, but as time progresses and memory impairment increases, the events become more and more real. This phenomenon can be very frightening for seniors and their loved ones, so here’s some information on hallucinations and what can be done to alleviate anxiety and fear

What Are Hallucinations?

Impaired brain function can cause an individual with dementia to experience false perceptions. Hallucinations involve the sensory organs and trick the person into seeing, feeling, tasting, or smelling things in the environment that aren’t truly present. The sensations are very real, and it may be nearly impossible to make your loved one understand that what he or she is experiencing is false.

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.

How Can I Help?

If you’re like many other family caregivers, your first reaction may be to try and talk your loved one out of believing the experience is real. However, this approach is almost always ineffective and leaves the senior agitated and the caregiver frustrated. It’s important to have empathy for your loved one and understand that the event seems truly authentic. Often, the best solution is to avoid intervening until the sensations pass.

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be extremely challenging, and a compassionate professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support. Families looking for top-rated Auburn elderly home care providers can reach out to Home Care Assistance. From respite care to specialized Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care, there are many ways we can make life easier for seniors and their loved ones.

How Can I Reassure My Loved One?

Trying to help a hallucinating loved one can make you feel helpless. A three-step approach may help your loved one calm down until the experience fades. This method involves the following: 

  • Reassure by offering comfort and protection from the perceived event
  • Respond by offering an explanation for the occurrence
  • Redirect with a distraction or activity

What if Danger Is Present?

If the situation becomes a threat to your loved one or others around him or her, it will become necessary to intervene. Other loved ones or professional emergency personnel may need to be called upon if the circumstances become uncontrollable.

If you’re looking for reliable dementia care, Auburn Home Care Assistance offers high-quality at-home care for seniors who are managing the challenges of cognitive decline. We offer a revolutionary program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which uses mentally stimulating activities to boost cognitive health in the elderly. CTM has proven to help seniors with dementia regain a sense of pride and accomplishment and learn how to engage with others in an enjoyable way. We will work with you to create a customized home care plan that’s suited for your loved one’s unique needs. Call the Home Care Assistance team at (334) 744-7100 today.


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