What are hallucinations and delusions
The first thing to remember, hallucinations are usually false perceptions regarding taste, smell and fears that do not exist. This typically occurs in elderly patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Trending on the same path, delusions are a kind of false understanding about what is going on in the present. Both hallucinations, as well as delusions, occur in individuals suffering from dementia.
Living in fear
Another key point, the journey of old age is not an easy one. And our loved ones are often victims of some or the other kind of disease conditions. Of the several debilitating conditions that our elderly suffer from. Hallucinations and delusions are the ones that almost cripple the ability of our elderly to live a normal life. An elderly with delusion often perceive that their relative or caregivers are planning all sorts of activities to kill them. Living with such notions makes life difficult for our elderly. As they live in constant fear of something that actually does not exist.
Learning about the facts of hallucinations and delusions
Hallucinations and delusions are two distinct conditions. Which affects our elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia of another type. An elderly with hallucination have a sensory imagination. For example, they feel, hear or taste something that really does not exist. When our elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s experiences hallucinations. They seem to feel or hear or sense something that is not true. For example, they may feel bugs are crawling up on their arms and legs. Or they may see their relatives who no longer exist and may also relive old experiences. All such conditions sum up hallucinations.
Additional facts of hallucinations
Hallucinations and delusions are two distinct conditions, which affect our elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia of another type. An elderly with hallucination have a sensory imagination. For example, they feel, hear or taste something that really does not exist. When our elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s experiences hallucinations, they seem to feel or hear or sense something that is not true. Like, they may feel bugs are crawling up on their arms and legs, or they may see their relatives who no longer exist and may also relive old experiences. All such conditions sum up hallucinations.
Additional facts of delusions
Delusions, on the other hand, has nothing to do with sensory experiences; but false beliefs which make matters really difficult for our elderly. Such a kind of condition involves our elderly loved ones to live in constant fear of something. For example, they may doubt people around them to rob them of their property or money or may even feel people or their relatives are planning to kill them.
Causes of hallucinations and delusions
Hallucinations and delusions in elderly with Alzheimer’s are primarily caused due to changes in the brain. In many cases, medication side effects can also cause our elderly to perceive false beliefs and fall prey to things or situation that are not true or do not exist.
Role of caregivers in helping elderly deal with hallucinations and delusion
Taking care of Alzheimer’s elderly patients who suffer from hallucinations and delusions is not an easy task. Easier said than done, caregivers have to face a lot of trouble when taking care of their loved ones with an altered state of mind. Here are some of the tips that can help all caregivers effectively deal with their elderly loved ones to help them overcome hallucinations and delusions:
- Consult your doctor: It is always necessary to understand the exact cause behind hallucinations and delusions. Therefore, it is best to consult the doctor and take their advice about the causes and the subsequent course of treatment.
- Do not try to rationalize with your loved one: As a caregiver, you have to understand that the sudden change in behavior in the form of delusions and hallucinations is not deliberate. Your seniors have no control over this and at the same time are unaware of their absurd behavior. It is just impossible to rationalize with them in such cases. Trying to do so would do more harm than any good and also exert stress on you and your loved one. Therefore, whenever you see your seniors exhibiting their suspicions or fear regarding people or situation, it is always best to hear them out and to try and change their focus immediately. In such cases, employ the 3 Rs – Reassure – Respond and Refocus. Reassure your loved one that everything is fine and that you are there for them. Respond in a positive manner that everything will be fine and there is nothing to worry about. Refocus – once you could successfully calm your senior, shift their focus to other activities or people.
Additional help with hallucinations and delusions
- Assess the situation or the problem: Hallucinations or delusions usually in most of the cases follow a particular pattern. So, the next time your senior experiences hallucination, try and figure out the situation or people that triggered the particular belief or behavior. Many caregivers have the habit of recording details of such triggers so that they can try and control the situation next time.
- Find the actual problem: By addressing the actual problem, many hallucinations and delusions can be successfully prevented. You can try and engage your seniors in some activity, which would require their active participation. Moreover, hallucinations and delusions also result from poor vision and decreased the hearing ability of your seniors. Therefore, getting regular medical checkups done to keep their sensory organs working fine, can also help prevent these conditions. Make sure that your senior’s room does not have many distractions in terms of light and loud noise, as these serve as potential factors for triggering hallucinations and delusions.
It is certainly not easy to deal with seniors suffering from hallucinations and delusions. However, our elderly loved ones are not responsible for such a kind of behavior and therefore, it becomes our prime responsibility to comfort them by all means. By closely working with the doctor and by using the above-mentioned tips, it would certainly be possible for you to effectively overcome the conditions of hallucinations and delusions. For more information, check out this site.