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Tips for Helping a Senior with Alzheimer’s Disease Cope with Hallucinations

Home Care Services Estero FL

Home Care Services Estero FLHallucinations can be a frightening symptom for your aging parent to develop during their progression with Alzheimer’s disease, but as a family caregiver it is important that you are prepared for the possibility and know how to help them handle them in the best way possible.

While hallucinations are a relatively common symptom of the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease and they are rarely on their own dangerous, they could lead to behaviors that are dangerous, possibly putting their health and safety at risk. Helping your senior cope with their hallucinations can prevent serious incidents and make caring for them easier and less stressful moving forward.

Use these tips to help your senior with Alzheimer’s disease cope with hallucinations:

• Recognize that they seem real. Your aging parent is not “making it up” when they experience a hallucination, nor are they capable of differentiating between reality and the hallucination. A hallucination is a false sensory perception, meaning that your loved one will hear, feel, taste, smell, or see something that others do not. Be aware that these seem completely real to your parent and can be frightening or upsetting. Understanding this can help you to approach them with greater compassion and support.

• Do not correct them. Not only do these sensory experiences seem completely real to your parent, but the Alzheimer’s disease can make it so that they do not understand when you try to rationalize with them. Attempting to correct them and tell them that what they are experiencing is not real can further confuse and upset your parent and leave them feeling frustrated, unappreciated, and frightened. Instead, focus on soothing your parent and helping them cope with their emotional responses rather than correcting them.

• Reassure them. Do not lie to your parent or try to get them to understand that what they are experiencing is a hallucination. Instead, focus on reassuring and comforting them. If they are afraid, tell them that you are there and will take care of them.

• Distract them. Sometimes it is not the hallucination itself that is the problem, but your parent’s reaction to it. They might attempt something dangerous or respond to the hallucination in a way that puts them at risk. If you notice this happening, find ways to distract them. Take them out of the environment, get their mind on something else, and interact with them so that they can get past the hallucination and the compulsion to react to it.

If your aging parent is coping with Alzheimer’s disease, starting home care services for them can be one of the most beneficial, compassionate, and nurturing decisions that you can make. Far from being a way that you can distance yourself from your parent’s care or a demonstration that you do not care if your parent gets what they need as they age in place, hiring an in-home senior care services provider is a highly effective way to help your parent achieve and maintain their highest quality of life as they age in place.

The personalized services of a home care provider mean that you can delegate specific tasks to them and focus your time, energy, and effort on other aspects of your parent’s care, or that you can know that when you are not able to be with them on a daily basis they are still in the best hands.

As they progress through the disease this home care services provider can ensure that they stay as safe, healthy, and comfortable as possible while maintaining their mental, emotional, and cognitive well-being as much as they can. When it comes to difficult symptoms such as hallucinations, the services of a care provider can be invaluable to help your loved one get through them and stay safe.


If you or an aging loved one are considering Home Care Services in Estero FL, call the caring staff at Dial-a-Nurse today. Naples: (239) 307-0033. Ft. Myers: (239) 307-0065.

Ted Wolfendale

Administrator at Dial-a-Nurse
Mr. Wolfendale is a graduate of Stetson University, and Stetson University School of Law, and was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1988. He is admitted to practice in the Middle district of Florida, is an active member of the Florida Health Law section, and Lee County Bar Association.

In 1995 he became Administrator of Dial-a-Nurse nursing agency, the oldest nursing agency in the Southwest Florida succeeding his mother who started the company 37 years ago. He is also President of Nevco, Inc., an educational healthcare training company begun in 1988.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with the U.S. Department of Commerce on various Missions to improve the quality of life around the world by development of supportive healthcare programs. In 2005 he traveled with U.S. officials and addressed the Italian National Government assisting in the creation of Nurse Education mandates for that Country. In 2006 he was invited and spoke with the National Institutes of Continuing Education in Eastern Europe on healthcare education and developmental mandates, and most recently represented the United States at the European Union in Lake Balaton, Hungary in 2011. In 2014 he traveled with the U.S. Department of State to Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam in an effort to improve caregiver knowledge and training.

Mr. Wolfendale has worked with a number of non-profits in contributing and creating curriculum to improve the quality of life in third-world countries since 2001, and notably created a successful program in Odessa, India that has been modeled in other areas of the world. In his backyard, he has worked with local Goodwill Industries to provide curriculum and training to underserved individuals who have obtained employment as a result of educational training. He was the Congressional appointment to the Governor's purple ribbon task force in 2013, and has worked to educate caregivers in all aspects of Alzheimer's training.
Ted Wolfendale

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