Dealing with Paranoia and Alzheimer’s Care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL

Senior Care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL“I’m being poisoned!” is how people with paranoia think when food tastes different to them. Or it could be a different color than what they are used to. And people with paranoia believe what is only in their minds, whether it’s outrageous or untrue. If your loved one, say your Dad, has paranoia; no matter what you tell him, he won’t believe it. He may become suspicious, believe people are out to get him, to steal from him or harm him in some way. He may believe that you, the person giving him Alzheimer’s care, are the main culprit. These delusions are fixed and will only cause him more distress if you argue with him about it too. How do you, as a caregiver, deal with something like this then?

Dealing with a family member who has paranoia can be difficult and frustrating. In the above example, you can’t understand why he is thinking the way he is thinking. To you, it doesn’t make sense but to him it does. There is danger lurking around every corner and in every bite he eats and drinks. People are peering at him through the windows and voices are talking in other rooms. Things aren’t where he put them so someone is stealing from him. His clothes are being stolen too, although you just put them in the washer to be washed.

You can reassure him, although this won’t stop the belief. It does help to keep his routines and environment unchanged and familiar. If items are “lost” and you find them hidden somewhere by Dad, put it back where they belongs. Distraction also works well but it depends on if he has any mobility issues or other issues which would hinder him. You can ask him to help you with a task such as sweeping the kitchen floor or dusting. Maybe read the newspaper out loud and ask his opinion on what you’ve read. Always speak in a calm gentle voice and try reassurances like a hug or a touch on the hand. Try to avoid arguments at all cost; it will only agitate him further.

Another direction to go is to get accurate diagnosis on what is causing the behavior. Make an appointment with his doctor for a full physical. There are medications which can be prescribed but the side effects can be a problem. You will need to work with the doctor to see which one will work best for your family member. You may have to have your family member try several until the right match is found. You want to find the right drug with the least amount of side effects.

Your loved one’s world is a strange one now and it’s up to you to stay calm and and help. Reassurances do work as well as love and comfort.

For Senior Care in Oakbrook Terrace, IL call 708-761-4909. Serving La Grange, Oakbrook, Oakbrook Terrace, Brookfield, Westchester, Downers Grove, Berwyn, River Forest, Oak Park, Hinsdale, Chicago and surrounding communities.

About Joan Cisneros LPN

Joan Cisneros is COO and Agency Manager at Private Home Care Services of Oakbrook Terrace, IL. Joan has over 25 years of professional healthcare experience, including Private Duty Home Care, nursing, insurance, case management, training, and operations. Her area of expertise is Alzheimer¹s care, which she knows from both a professional and personal perspective. Her solid capabilities are enhanced by her compassionate approach and her personal mission to help people maintain their independence by providing the best possible home care.