ACT on Alzheimer's: Delusions and hallucinations

In an effort to raise awareness, reduce the stigma of Alzheimer’s disease, educate our community and assist families who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease; this month’s article highlights a symptom of Alzheimer’s Disease and related forms of dementia, Delusions and Hallucinations. Not everyone experiences delusions and hallucinations, however it can be common. A delusion is a fixed false belief. For example, the person may hold the false belief of being under the threat of harm from the care partner. To the person with dementia the delusion is very real and causes fear and may result in distressing self-protective behaviors. If the person is experiencing a hallucination, he/she might see or hear things that are not there; for instance, figures at the foot of the bed, or people talking in the room.  

Here are some suggestions that may help: 

• Do not argue with the person about the validity of what was seen or heard. 

• When the person is frightened try to give comfort. Your calm voice and gently holding a hand can be comforting. 

• Distract the person by drawing attention to something real in the room. 

• Check with your doctor about medications that are being used as these may contribute to the problem. 

Source: Care Partner Guide, Dove™ Signature Program for Memory Care

For more information about navigating caring for another person, ongoing caregiver support and connecting with local resources to assist you in caring for another person contact: 

Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant with Family Pathways jaynem@familypathways.org or 320-364-9152

FOR MORE RESOURCES and guidance in caring for someone with dementia, contact Jayne Mund, Caregiver Consultant, at 651-257-7905 or email jaynem@familypathways.org.

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