Communication

Hallucinations & Delusions

Hallucinations and delusions are perceptual disorders with no basis in reality. Hallucinations include hearing, seeing, smelling, or feeling things that are not actually present.

Delusions are firmly held beliefs in false ideas, despite contradictory evidence.

Both hallucinations and delusions are fairly common in Alzheimer's disease. They are very real to the person experiencing them and can present quite a caregiving challenge. However,

  • Hallucinations and delusions can be indications of a physical illness or a reaction to medication.
  • Contact the doctor and report what the care receiver is experiencing.
  • Rather than trying to convince the individual that what they perceive to be real is not, respond to what they are expressing, provide reassurance, and ensure their safety.
  • Introducing a new activity as simple as moving to another room or going outside for a walk may refocus the individual.

Source: THE ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE EDUCATION & REFERRAL CENTER