Suspicion, Delusions and Alzheimer's
This month’s Volunteer Training Tip will focus on suspicion and delusions that can be experienced with people with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. It is important to know not all people with Alzheimer’s will experience these symptoms but it can be common. Remember, our coin phrase at Seasons is “If you have seen one person with Alzheimer’s disease, you have seen only one person with Alzheimer’s Disease.” No two people are identical nor will their disease progress the same way!
A person with Alzheimer's may become suspicious of those around them, even accusing others of theft, infidelity or other improper behavior. While accusations can be hurtful, remember that the disease is causing these behaviors and try not to take offense.
How to respond
· Listen to what is troubling the person, and try to understand that reality. Then be reassuring, and let the person know you care.
· Don't argue.
· Don’t try to convince or reason.
· Allow the individual to express ideas. Acknowledge his or her opinions.
· Offer a simple answer.
· Share your thoughts with the individual, but keep it simple. Don't overwhelm the person with lengthy explanations or reasons.
· Switch the focus to another activity.
· Engage the individual in an activity, or ask for help with a chore.
· Duplicate any lost items.
· If the person is often searching for a specific item, have several available. For example, if the individual is always looking for his or her wallet, purchase two of the same kind.
· Share your experience with others.
· Don't take it personally J
Thank you for all that you do!
Renee Pope, CTRS
Seasons Adult Day Health Services