Alzheimer’s and dementia affect people’s perception of the world. Memory loss is the most commonly associated symptom of these disorders. However, delusions are also common. When they occur, they cause stress to all parties involved. Below are some things to keep in mind when dealing with delusions.
• It is the disease talking: Whatever the person with dementia may say, it is not him or her speaking. It is the disease talking. Thus, try not to take what is said to heart. It is not meant.
• Do not confront the person with delusions: This will only agitate him or her more and may reinforce his or her thinking. Acknowledge his or her opinions and thoughts at that moment and quickly move on.
• When responding, keep your answers simple: Long sentences can confuse people who are in a state of delirium. This can agitate them even more. Answer them concisely or tell them you will pick up the conversation again later. Directing their attention to a new topic is also a good method.
• Don’t keep your feelings to yourself: Not taking the things the person says to heart is easier said than done. If your feelings do get hurt, talk about them with someone you trust. Don’t bottle it up inside.
These disorders are never easy to manage. If you or someone you know is dealing with dementia or Alzheimer’s, remember we are here to help. Our care services can help families better manage these issues.