Hallucinations: Dementia & Alzheimer Care
Hallucinations describe false visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, and gustatory perceptions. In persons with Alzheimer’s disease hallucinations can be a frequent occurrence due to the changes in the brain that result from Alzheimer’s. The senior may see people who are not there or hear sounds not audible to others. While antipsychotics can manage hallucinations other Alzheimer care strategies can and should be adopted.
Some hallucinations can be distressing for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. When the senior is visibly upset by hallucinations it is important to be calm and reassuring. Responding with “it looks like you’re upset. It’s OK. I’m here with you now and I’ll protect you” will comfort the resident and mitigate feelings of loneliness and abandonment. The response also acknowledges the resident’s state of emotion; while the perception is false the emotional response is genuine requiring acknowledgment and comfort. Gentle patting on the back can also offer reassurance and distraction from troubling hallucinations, but should only be pursued if the resident is comfortable with such contact, and approached with caution if the resident has a history of combative behavior.
Visual hallucinations and false perceptions can also result from the surrounding environment. One of the common causes of false perceptions by seniors with Alzheimer’s disease is poor lighting. Background noise such as a television or radio can lead to auditory hallucinations. Mirrors can cast reflections the senior does not recognize (including their own) leading to false visual perceptions.
Santa Rosa Memory Care
Not all assisted living facilities train their staff in memory care techniques. While Wild Rose Care Home and Wild Rose Care Home at Quail Run do not have specialized dementia care programs, both facilities conduct staff training to prepare caregivers for memory care. If your loved one experiences dementia behaviors such as anxiety, aggression, depression, or other negative behaviors call our senior living facility at (707) 695-2937 to learn how we can meet your loved one’s memory care needs.