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Dealing with Delusions and Cognitive Disorders

Dementia can have many diverse symptoms, some of which are not well understood.  Memory loss is the most commonly mentioned symptom, however general perception of the world can also be severely effected by the disease.  One of those symptoms can be delusions. These delusions cause tremendous strain for caregivers and family members.  Below are some ways for dealing with these delusions when they rise.
First and foremost, when dementia patients suffer from delusions, keep in mind that it is the disease talking. Caregivers and family members should do everything possible to refrain from taking offense or allowing themselves to get too hurt or respond in anger.
Secondly, do not argue with the person. This will only agitate their mental state and in many cases, will reaffirm the delusional thinking.  Acknowledge their opinions and move on with the conversation.
When responding to the person having the delusions, keep your answers simple. Long explanations can confuse people when they are in states of delirium. When answering, try to either divert the conversation to something else, or acknowledge what the person has said but state that you will talk about it later.
Don’t keep your experiences to yourself. It’s easy to say, “Don’t let the delusions get to you,” but that is easier said than done. Speaking with someone you trust about any conflicts like this may help you feel better.
Alzheimer’s and dementia are never easy to deal with. If you, or someone you love, are dealing with issues such as memory loss or delusions, we can help. We can set up a consultation with you to help you form a plan for going forward with your care.

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