Hallucinations can be incredibly scary for you and for your senior. They can show up for your elderly family member because of medications, because of brain changes due to dementia, or even simply because of conditions like chronic migraines. Determining what’s causing the hallucinations is a job for your senior’s doctor, but you can help her to deal with them in the moment.
Assess Whether You Need to Do Anything at All
Some hallucinations aren’t harmful and aren’t bothering your elderly family member at all. For instance, if she believes she’s talking to someone she loves, that might not be something that you need to address. If the hallucination makes her uncomfortable or is causing your senior to act in an unsafe manner, that’s something that you might need to address.
Reassure Your Senior
Reassurances can do so much for your aging adult. Just knowing that you’re there and that she’s safe can be a calming influence for her. You don’t even need words to do this. Stay calm and use reassuring touches to help you to get your message across.
Use Validation Rather than Logic
Arguing with someone who is hallucinating is not going to be effective. The situation that exists as your senior’s reality at the moment is not one that exists within reality. Validation is far more effective. Let your senior explain to you what she’s seeing and experiencing and don’t dismiss it out of hand. Respond to what she’s expressing rather than to what your version of reality is.
Keep Things Simple and Use Distraction
If the hallucination is one that is harmful, you need to be able to redirect your senior’s attention. This is accomplished most easily through distraction. Sometimes simply talking to her can be distraction enough, but you might also want to keep some favorite items or activities in mind for just these types of moments. Offer your elderly family member a snack that she enjoys or encourage her to take a walk around the room with you. The tiniest redirects can be highly effective.
Talk to Her Doctor
Hallucinations can mean that other issues are at play. If your elderly family member is suddenly experiencing hallucinations or the hallucinations she’s been having are changing in some way, open up a conversation with her doctor. Once your doctor knows what your elderly family member has been experiencing, tests and other diagnostic tools can help to determine if there are further solutions that might make a difference.
Make sure that you’re getting support for yourself while you’re dealing with your senior as she hallucinates. This is not easy, especially if your senior has hallucinations frequently. Hiring senior care providers can give you the space that you need to be able to support your elderly family member the way that you want to support her.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in Mulberry FL, please contact the caring staff at Helping Hands Nursing Services today. To learn about our affordable rates and obtain a FREE assessment for your loved one, call (863) 616-1888.
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