Oftentimes, dementia patients can see and believe things that aren’t there, and this phenomenon is referred to as hallucinations and delusions. While it is not uncommon in dementia patients, it can nevertheless be highly distressing, both for the patients themselves and their caregivers. The truth is that regardless of how you respond, hallucinations and delusions in seniors with dementia are caused by the changes in their brains. As such, arguing or becoming defensive will not work.
In this article, we share with you some coping strategies to handle a hallucination or delusion in your loved one.
Reaffirm Their Feelings
You may not have to agree that someone else is in the house with them, but you can definitely reaffirm how they feel about it. Attempt to calm your loved one down by saying, “I understand that it can be scary when you think someone is in the house with you.” This way, you are acknowledging their feelings and looking beyond your own emotional reaction to focus on them.
Uncover and Eliminate Any Triggers
Sometimes, delusions and hallucinations can be triggered by something in the immediate environment. For instance, a shadow can easily become someone lurking in the background. If you discover any triggers in your loved one’s living environment, it can help to eliminate them by making some small modifications around the house, such as getting better lighting or closing the blinds at night.
Make Some Changes to Your Loved One’s Daily Routine
Do you find that your loved one becomes more agitated at a certain time of day, or that they start seeing things after watching a particular TV show? If so, it may be time to make some changes to their daily routine. Instead of watching that TV show after dinner, take your loved one for a walk or suggest something else they may like to do, such as completing a puzzle or looking through old pictures. This has the benefit of distracting them and will hopefully keep a delusional episode at bay.
Our Award-Winning Memory Care Program at Hidden Meadows On The Ridge Will Improve Your Loved One’s Quality of Life
There’s no denying that caring for a loved one with dementia can be challenging on the best of days. At Hidden Meadows On The Ridge, we firmly believe that there should be no guilt or shame in making a decision in your loved one’s best interests. Our award-winning memory care program is a great option for older adults living with dementia and their families who require a long-term care arrangement. Our secure neighborhood design and enrichment activities will help your loved ones to retain a sense of self-worth and independence while encouraging them to participate in daily living activities.
If you are keen to find out more about what we can offer, you are welcome to schedule a senior living tour with us any time. We will be happy to welcome you on campus and answer any questions you may have.