Old people often cannot distinguish between events that they imagined or happened in reality. With the increase in the number of health problems, the ability to distinguish between the fictional world and the real one also decreases. In this article, you will learn why hallucinations occur in old people, what to do in this case, and how to treat it with a home care service provider in Brooklyn.
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Why old people have hallucinations
Hallucinations are a manifestation of abnormal perception of the present, sensations, and images that randomly arise in the mind of an old person. They are not the result of the influence of stimuli, so people begin to consider them an objective reflection of reality.
Hallucinations are a pretty serious problem, especially for an old person. Communicating with sick old people is difficult, and if they also have a disturbed worldview, then this becomes a real disaster. What is the cause of hallucinations in an old person? Often even doctors cannot understand what is the matter, but it is also impossible not to pay attention to the problem.
Hallucinogenic states can be the result of any disease, or they can occur spontaneously. Let’s consider the main reasons.
- if an old person takes hallucinogenic drugs.
- as a side effect of a drug. For example, antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and tranquilizers. Isolation from society, as well as the isolation of space, according to online suboxone doctors.
- sleep disturbance and daytime activity.
- schizophrenia, epilepsy, and other diseases caused by a mental disorder.
- hallucinations resulting from intoxication after poisoning.
- benign and malignant brain tumors.
- psychosis on the background of infectious diseases.
- Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
- progressive paranoia.
Old people struggling with illness tend to become paranoid amid chronic depression and pessimism because they think they will die soon. Features of the disease directly affect the nature of hallucinations.
There are other prerequisites for a distorted perception of reality:
- Panic attacks manifested in old people in violation of perception, including hallucinations. An old person cannot overcome this disease on his own without the help of a specialist.
- The delirious syndrome is a consequence of chronic alcoholism. This pathology is also accompanied by hallucinations. In addition, in those cases when an old person behaves inappropriately and is very excited, the presence of vascular diseases in the brain is possible.
How to know if an old person is hallucinating
The appearance of hallucinatory syndrome in an old person, first of all, becomes noticeable to his relatives. They see that a loved one begins to behave strangely, and reacts differently to events. His character changes and new qualities appear. These changes are inexplicable, they should alert and give reason to think about the appearance of problems of a physical and psychological nature.
No matter how hard old patients try to hide the presence of hallucinations, their behavior will still give them away sooner or later.
You can usually notice the following symptoms:
- In conversation, the old person is alert and focused.
- The old person is periodically distracted during a conversation to listen or look at something.
- Suddenly, the old person starts talking to someone, waving his arms.
- Facial expressions can change depending on the nature of hallucinations: if pleasant – an expression of joy and delight is on the face, if unpleasant and frightening an expression of anger and fear is on the face.
- With strong attacks that force him to commit some unacceptable act, the old person, resisting this, tries to cover his ears, nose, and eyes with his hands.
How to deal with old people who are hallucinating
The old man is hallucinating – what to do? Old people, knowing about the presence of disturbances in consciousness, may react differently to this fact. Many are afraid of the ridicule of others, so they carefully hide the disease, pretend, and say that they have nothing of the sort. As a result, it is often difficult to determine the presence of symptoms.
If close people know exactly about the diagnosis of a relative, they should try to understand his situation and make sure that the old person is not afraid of ridicule or aggression, but shows his true state. Try to become an assistant in the fight against the disease. Then you can easily recognize the beginning symptoms, suppress attacks, and control the disease, thereby providing effective and timely assistance. Your task is to identify the emerging problem at an early stage and prevent it from escalating.
Rules for communicating with old patients with hallucinations and delusions:
- Consider the emotional state of the old person.
It must always be remembered that perceptual disturbances are accompanied by both pleasant and terrible emotional experiences. Based on this, it is first necessary to focus on the emotions that fill the consciousness of the old patient, and only then on the content of hallucinations.
- Take care of safety.
It is necessary to strive to ensure that the patient and his environment feel safe and to create optimally comfortable living conditions for everyone. It is pointless to take measures to stop the symptoms if the old relative is quietly going about his business and does not cause any inconvenience to anyone.
- Do not argue with the patient.
Do not dispute what the old person saw. He sees and feels this way, all the images are real to him. If you deny their existence or downplay the significance of hallucinations, you risk losing the trust of a loved one or even turning into his enemy. Then it will be more difficult to help him, and communication problems will only increase.
- mockery of the person’s condition;
- surprise or fear of his experiences;
- the persistent belief in the insignificance of what is happening, when the person takes all the visions very seriously;
- discussing what the old person sees, as this increases the significance of visions in his eyes.
It is better to address an old relative calmly and kindly:
- ask about what he is hearing right now to get an idea of how he is feeling.
- discuss a way out of this situation, and how you can cope with experiences and their causes.
- help the patient feel safe. Make it so that he can control what happens to him.
Caring for an old person who regularly hallucinates can be a difficult task for relatives who do not have sufficient knowledge to deal with it. The best solution is to find a caregiver who can professionally calm the person and avoid worsening his condition. Galaxy Home Care is a reliable company to find an assistant. You can consult with the company’s employees and find the most suitable caregiver for your family.