As people with Alzheimer’s become more confused, they often become suspicious and might begin demonstrating paranoid behavior. Although this is a very common symptom of the disease, it can be shocking when a loved one accuses you of stealing or cheating. Today, the Philadelphia Alzheimer’s care experts at Home Care Assistance are going to share some of the reasons this behavior occurs and what you can do to minimize these paranoid feelings for your loved one.
Paranoid behavior is an understandable outcome when we consider that your loved one is losing ability to make sense of reality. It is fueled by confusion and fear, so the more of a reassuring attitude you adopt, the more you’ll inspire his or her confidence that all is well. Alzheimer’s patients often look to those they trust when determining how to react to situations, so your ability to stay calm can help them to as well.
While it is important not to argue, it is equally essential not to take any accusations personally. Acknowledge that you have heard your loved one’s concerns. At this point, employing a distraction tactic like changing the subject can be very effective. Try mentioning a favorite topic or preferred pastime that you feel certain will catch the patient’s interest.
Keeping a familiar routine helps reduce stress and paranoia. Make an effort to keep personal and household items in their usual spots. By observing carefully which things and places trigger suspicion, you’ll find clues for creating a more soothing environment. Does agitation occur at certain times of the day? Or do certain people or activities set off episodes?
Any behavior changes in the patient should always be discussed with a physician. If your loved one seems dangerous to him or herself or others, a doctor can provide strategies and treatment options. Sometimes medications have to be administered, but this usually happens after other measures have failed as these drugs can produce serious side effects in the elderly.
Paranoia can be an especially heartbreaking symptom of Alzheimer’s, but you can help your loved one feel safer by maintaining a calm environment and regular routine. It provides much needed consistency that assists him or her to navigate an increasingly uncertain daily life.
For more information about caring for a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s or to request information about in-home care services, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Philadelphia. Our highly trained and compassionate caregivers are available 24/7 and all of our care services come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call 215-645-4663 and schedule a complimentary, in-home Alzheimer’s consultation today.