Mental Disorders in Older Adults – The Best Way of Handling It

woman suffering from mental disorder

Fixed and false ideas are commonplace illusions about Alzheimer's and other illnesses. They can often simply be due to the very nature of the forgetfulness caused by these diseases.

Forgetfulness, another common issue can also cause false identification. Your father may not remember what his wife, daughter, or son looks like, however, it is painful. He no longer knows them. He may think that he was 40 years old, not 80, forgetful and confused, and therefore his grandson may be mistaken as his son.

It is not unusual for people with dementia to be paranoid, delusional or, in some cases, hallucinate. At some stage of the disease, around 30% of people with dementia can develop delusions. Among certain groups, the incidence may be even greater. A memory care in OKC offers care for older adults with such mental disorder.

How do they deal with the situation? They use knowledge and strategies.

Hallucination

A hallucination is not precisely delusion. Delusions involve misconceptions, but hallucination involves false object or event perceptions. If someone is hallucinating, they can hear, see, smell, taste, or even feel something not present. Hallucinations are less common but can affect individuals with certain dementia types.

Delusion

Delusions are strong, unreal beliefs. Dementia may also trigger paranoid delusions — a sufferer might think that some type of food is dangerous, or might think somebody had stolen their money. There is nothing that can be argued or reasoned to change this belief.

Paranoia

Paranoia is unrealistic expectations of others trying to damage the person. For example, a person who has dementia might steadfastly believe that the police are following him, or that a neighbor intends to rob them.

Delusions and paranoia are problems friends and family caregivers can find very difficult to manage. However, when properly managed, carers can help their loved ones calm down and reduce stress. Memory care specialists in OKC use various expert techniques to deal with dementia-related behavior.

  • No Argument: Let the person express their thoughts and listen attentively to what disturbs them. Try your best to share in their reality. Then reassure them that you're concerned and let them know you'll be there to help.

  • No Grievance: Remember that the delusional and paranoid behavior of your loved one is not a personal attack but a symptom of their memory loss. Let them know that you care enough to see them through this struggle.

  • Simple Answers: Answer their concerns and share your views but keep your replies straightforward. They can only become more confused by lengthy explanations or complicated reasons.

  • Attention Diversion: By focusing on another activity or asking them to help you with a chore, you can distract them from their paranoia.

  • Extra Items: Memory problems mean even very important items are often misplaced or things that have been gone for years will suddenly be missed. Keep a few duplicates of the item your loved one tends to lose.

  • Watching the Patterns: What types of behavior happens at certain times of the day? Keep an account of the activities of the person and search for ways to avoid triggers for paranoia or delusions.

Rarely, there can be a cause that is reversible or treatable for paranoia, delusion, and hallucinations. Take into account the possibility of delirium, a sudden change in thinking that is caused by infection, operation, or other diseases.

Some drugs can also cause delusions or hallucinations. Drug interactions or improper dosages may also affect the mental and emotional stability of an individual. The doctor’s advice is needed here.

If the paranoia, delusions or hallucinations of your loved one are new or occur suddenly, talk with your doctor about it. The memory care professionals in OKC can help you out to take care of the older adults.

You can get our memory care of Home Care Assistance in OKC for seniors who have dementia or similar mental concerns.