Responding Better to Hallucinations

Publisher: Daily Caring

Author: Daily Caring Editorial Team

“With any hallucination, what’s most important is to validate your older adult’s experience, respond to their feelings, and keep them safe.”

As caregivers, it can get difficult for us, when our loved one starts hallucinating. Though we know these are imaginary, it is challenging to make them understand the difference and calm them down. Firstly, it is important to understand that when a person is hallucinating, that incident or thing is real for them. The only thing we can do is comfort them and make them feel acknowledged.

We should realize that contradicting our loved one’s thoughts could make them more upset and frustrated. Just by validating their feeling and comforting them by holding their hand can make them feel safer.  Providing reassurance can calm them down, and also help them explain what they see or feel more effectively. Another way to comfort our loved one is to distract them by keeping them busy through activity or simply by talking to them.

“You don’t need to pretend that you can see or hear what they can, just be supportive and do what you can to relieve any fear or anxiety as if it was a real threat.”

It is important for us to differentiate between hallucinations that can be negative and harmful and those which do not cause any harm and  can be overlooked. Noting down the intensity and frequency of the hallucinations makes it easier for the caregivers to analyze if they are harmful or not. Keeping a track of what triggers them (Physical and Environmental factors), can be an effective way to understand the pattern. This will also help report it to the doctor if and when necessary.

“Sharing your experience and getting advice and tips from others can make life easier.”

 Recognizing the triggers for these hallucinations is also crucial as it may vary from person to person. While discussing these issues of hallucinations with the doctor, one must keep in mind any medications that are being prescribed as it could be a cause of the hallucinations. It is also important for caregivers themselves to seek support  from professionals, as dealing with a loved one who  hallucinates can be stressful.

This article shares 10 different ways to deal with hallucinations. To understand more on how to tackle such helpless situations, click here

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