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Hallucinations | Management Strategies

  1. If the hallucination causes distress or discomfort, distraction techniques could assist in calming the person you care for. You could distract them through the use of music, television, a particular food, or activity.

  2. Visual hallucinations are sometimes due to poor eyesight. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to ensure that they have the right prescription for their glasses and do not have any cataracts or floaters .

  3. Auditory hallucinations are sometimes due to poor hearing. Make an appointment with your doctor to get their hearing checked and to ensure that their hearing aid is working or that they do not have problems with their hearing.

  4. Do not argue with the person over the hallucination. It is best to remain calm and reassuring. Comfort them by saying things like "I am here to protect you," and "I will take care of you" or by touching them. Simply patting their hand or putting an arm around them may help relax them. It is important to acknowledge that they saw something and are frightened.

  5. It may be helpful to modify the environment to help minimize the occurrence of their hallucinations. For example, close the curtains if there is a glare on the window, keep lights on to avoid shadows, clean windows and cut bushes/branches away from the outside to let morew light in during the day, or remove mirrors. Put yourself in their shoes. Remember that while you may understand where a shadow, reflection or distortion is coming from, the person you care for may not.

  6. Check with your doctor to make sure that hallucinations are not a side effect of any of the medications taken by the person you care for.

  7. Make sure the environment is not under- nor over-stimulating - too little going on allows the brain to wander, and too much overcrowds it.

  8. Turn on the light, open the curtains, etc., if you suspect it is caused by shadows or similar.

  9. Make sure the person has eaten/drank/slept enough.

See Also:
About Dementia > Treatments for Dementia > Adverse Drug Reactions
About Dementia > Alzheimer's Disease > Agnosia
Symptom Library > Thinking & Judgment > Comprehension/ Understanding
Symptom Library > Physical Changes > Sensory Input
Symptom Library > Behaviour > Delusions and Paranoia
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Dementia with Lewy Bodies
About Dementia > Types of Dementia > Delirium
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Last updated January 13, 2019
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