As dementia progresses in the older adult, an increase in delusions and harboring suspicions about others may occur. Dealing with an older loved one who has become suspicious or delusional can present challenges for family caregivers and can also be very emotional, especially for adult children caring for aging parents.
If you provide home care for a elder loved one with dementia, here are a few tips for how to effectively address suspicious behaviors and delusions.
- Try Not to Feel Offended – Family members may feel offended when their loved one accuses them of stealing or other negative behaviors, but it is important to realize that this is an unfortunate part of the disease process. Learning to dismiss the accusations is important when trying to cope with the senior’s altered thinking process.
- Offer a Diversion – Moving to another area of the house or distracting the senior with a favorite television program may help defuse the situation and stop the negative accusations. Making sure the room is well-lit is a good way to keep the older adult with dementia from mistaking ordinary objects for sinister or threatening phenomena.
- Avoid Conflict – It is important to remember that when people are experiencing delusions, they are convinced that their false idea is true. Arguing with the person about the validity of their erroneous suspicions or beliefs can quickly elevate an already tense situation into a conflict that may be difficult to handle.
- Step Into Their World – Taking a moment and listening to the person who is experiencing the delusion can provide caregivers with a better understanding of their loved ones thinking process. Offering comfort to the senior and providing him or her with a non-confrontational explanation for their thoughts may help to calm the older adult.
- Keep Spare Items Handy – If a senior with dementia frequently loses the same item and accuses others of stealing it, keeping a couple of identical spares can help decrease conflict. For example, if your loved one is frequently losing their hairbrush, keeping a couple of extras around the house can help keep suspicions at bay.
Need a hand with the care of a senior loved one with dementia? Home Care Assistance of Albuquerque offers tailored care plans for seniors, and specializes in dementia care in Albuquerque. Our flexible care schedules, highly trained caregivers and comprehensive care services helps to ensure that our clients and their families have the appropriate care and support needed during this new stage of life.
To request information about our dementia care services or our revolutionary in-home program, The Cognitive Therapeutics Method, call 505-798-0800 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation.