Caring for someone with memory loss can be extremely frustrating. People with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia often experience delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking a relative is stealing from them. Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing or seeing something that isn’t there.
The natural instinct is to reassure the person that these thoughts or perceptions aren’t real. But correcting or reasoning rarely work and usually just cause frustration for both people. Instead,
For example, your father might think that strangers are watching him through his bedroom window. Instead of telling him that he is wrong, agree how scary that would be. Assure him that he’s safe with you, then suggest you go to the kitchen for a snack. Consider closing the curtains before he goes back into the bedroom. Similarly, if your wife is convinced you stole her wallet, offer to help her look for it. Other tips that can help:
Keep in mind that your loved one may experience delusions and hallucinations that provide comfort. If that’s the case, you may not need to address them. Also, remember that it is possible that your loved one might be a victim, so watch for signs of abuse and check out any suspicions or accusations that could be true.
VNSNY CHOICE Editorial Team