Up to 30 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease develop Parkinson’s psychosis. It causes them to hallucinate. Hallucinations are most often visual but can also affect other senses so that the senior hears, smells, tastes, or feels something that isn’t there. In addition to hallucinations, people with Parkinson’s psychosis may also have delusions. A delusion is when they hold a false belief, such as thinking a caregiver has stolen from them. Hallucinations and delusions can be disturbing for both the older adult and for their family caregiver. Knowing some tips for handling them can take some of the challenge out of the situation. Below are some tips to try when hallucinations or delusions occur.
Have a Conversation About Parkinson’s Psychosis
Older adults shouldn’t have to suffer in silence. However, they may be reluctant to talk about what they are experiencing because they fear judgement or aren’t sure what is real and what isn’t. Sit down and talk with your aging relative about how Parkinson’s can affect the mind. You might start the conversation by saying something like, “I read that people with Parkinson’s sometimes causes people to see things that aren’t there. Has that happened to you?” This can open up the lines of communication and let them know they can feel comfortable talk to you.
Talk to the Doctor About Treatment
Report hallucinations and delusions to the doctor. These symptoms can be caused by an underlying condition that can be treated. The doctor can perform an assessment to determine if treatment is possible and, if so, what kind of treatment may be helpful.
When you stay calm, your aging relative is more likely to be calmer. Keep your voice pleasant and reassure them that they are safe. It can also help to turn off background noise, like the television, to make the environment calmer.
Touch the Hallucination
Even when your older family member knows that what they are seeing isn’t there, a hallucination can be frightening. Encourage them to try to touch the hallucination or ask them where it is and try to touch it yourself. Sometimes trying to touch a hallucination makes it disappear.
Avoid arguing with the senior about what they see or what they think is true. It isn’t likely to do any good and will only upset them. Allow them to talk about what they are feeling and then try to redirect them to something more positive.
Use Elder Care
Dealing with the challenges of Parkinson’s disease is time consuming and exhausting for family caregivers. While you may want to do everything on your own, you are likely to find yourself feeling burned out or scrambling to stretch your time between caregiving and the rest of your life. If that’s the case, elder care can step in to take some of the pressure off you. Elder care providers can stay with your aging relative when you cannot be there or while you take some time to rest. While there, an elder care provider can help the older adult with things like dressing, bathing, walking safely around the house, and eating. They can also assist with household tasks like cooking and cleaning. In addition, they can remind the senior when it is time to take their Parkinson’s medications.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Tallahassee, FL, please call the caring staff at Hopewell In-Home Senior Care today at 850-386-5552. Providing Senior Care Services in North Florida.
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