Delusions and Paranoia
| Management Strategies
- This type of behaviour may be very frustrating or difficult for you. Try to remember to stay cool and to be patient. Calmly state the truth, and avoid arguing with the person you care for. Try to reassure the person of the truth, in order to reduce feelings of suspicion and distrust.
- Identify what soothes the person you care for, whether it is music or a warm bath. Try to integrate these things into his or her daily routine to help build a comfortable and relaxing environment. This will minimize feelings of suspicion and distrust.
- When the person you care for is acting out from their delusions or paranoia , try to distract them. Redirect their attention to an activity that is familiar and may be done unassisted.
- If the person you care for is consistently questioning the motives of others, it may help to talk to friends and relatives to let them know not to take the accusations seriously.
- Suspicion often arises when the person you care for has misplaced an item, so offer to help them look for it. It may help to have duplicates of essential items such as keys, address books or eyeglasses in locations that are not accessible to the person you care for. Also keep a stash of duplicate items which are in use and often lost, such as toothbrushes, scissors and pens. If you have these duplicates handy, this will help avoid frustration and anxiety when the original item is misplaced. As well, it may help to reduce accusations from the person you care for that it was stolen or hidden.
- The progression of the disease makes the person more reliant on the caregiver to conduct the business of daily life like bill paying, and to protect their financial interest. However, if they are paranoid about money, this may also leave the caregiver vulnerable to a range of accusations. It is best to put a system in place ahead of time that documents transactions carefully in case accusations come up in the future.
- Try to maintain a daily routine for the person you care for. This will help provide consistency and familiarity for the person, and increase their feelings of security.
- Constant delusions and paranoia may become irritating to the caregiver. If you find yourself unable to cope or unable to sleep, you may need to take yourself out of the environment for a short period of time. This would be in the best interest of yourself and the person you care for. The Alzheimer society in your area will know what respite care is available to you and how to obtain it.