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www.ProHealth.com • October 10, 2002


A hallucination is when a person has a false perception of objects or events that is sensory in nature. For an Alzheimer’s patient, the person may see, hear, smell, taste, or even feel something that is not really there. These events can be frightening for the patient and caregiver alike. Some ideas to follow for handling a person with hallucinations include:

* Ask a physician to evaluate the person and determine if medication is needed, or might be causing the hallucination. If the physician prescribes medication be cautious of symptoms as over sedation, increased confusion, or tremors.

* Take stock of the situation and determine if the hallucination is a problem for you or for the patient. Is the event upsetting the person? Is it causing them to do something dangerous? If so, react calmly and quickly with reassuring words and a comforting touch.

* Don’t argue with the person about what he or she sees or hears, but respond honestly. Keep in mind the person may ask you about the hallucination. Respond with words like, “I know that you see something, but I don’t see it.” In this way you’re not denying what the person experiences, nor engaging in an argument.

(Source: Alzheimer's Association)



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