Dementia can affect the brain activities of people, which can lead to odd and frightening behavior. People with dementia often experience hallucinations due to the changes in brain cells. The changes impact their senses. During a hallucination, a patient may feel or think they are hearing, seeing, or smelling something that is not actually present. It is something that causes the patient to believe something is real when it’s not. The sights or sounds or odors a patient feel or experience don’t exist for a normal person. If you have seen your older parent or someone else experience dementia, you must know how scary and hard it is to deal with it.
Hallucinations often happen during the middle or last stages of dementia. They are more common with certain types of dementia, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Lewy Body Dementia.
Hallucinations and Delusions
Although wrong, people often use both words interchangeably. There is a difference between the two. Hallucinations can be defined as false feelings, whereas delusions are suspicious untrue beliefs.
Hallucinations can be very real for the ones experiencing them, but others cannot verify it because it doesn’t simply exist. For example, a patient might think someone is knocking on the door (auditory mistake), or spiders are crawling on their bed (visual mistake).
Delusions make a person believe false things. For instance, your loved one may start believing that a stranger is living in his house when no one else is living there.
A person may also make false accusations. For example, if they misplace an item, they will blame others or a specific person for stealing it.
How to Deal With Hallucinations
Here are some tips for caretakers that will help to deal with dementia patients and bring them at ease.
- If your loved one is telling you something, listen to them, don’t argue! Trying to reason with them will make them irritated and upset. Show and make them feel that they are right, and you understand them by saying things like “I can help you in this, or I am here with you always” and more stuff like that.
- When experiencing a hallucination, the person you are caring for might tell you what they are seeing or hearing, don’t pretend you can listen to or see the same. Or else they will become more confused or hyper. To clear their mind, turn off the TV or monitor that might trigger hallucinations.
- If your loved one has auditory illusions, try talking to them as it will diminish their hallucinations.
With proper caring tips, it is easy to make your loved ones feel relaxed and happy. To learn more about dealing with dementia or provide personalized care for your older one, call Eden Memory Care at (281) 935-9115 .