Various types of Dementia will cause your clients to experience hallucinations or delusions. Take for instance Dementia with Lewy Bodies (DLB) and Parkinson’s Disease Dementia (PDD). After Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), these are the two most common types of dementing neurodegenerative diseases diagnosed to date. It is unfortunate, but both of these conditions tend to be diagnosed in late stages or they are never diagnosed.
If your clients do happen to be diagnosed with either DLB or PDD, they may produce motor manifestations, cognitive deficits (mainly in the executive and visual-constructive areas) and also psychotic manifestations like visual hallucinations, delusions and agitation. Depending on the client, these symptoms may distinctly vary at different times of the day – especially with clients diagnosed with DLB.
The quality of life for clients with either DLB or PDD is substantially reduced. For caregivers, when a client is diagnosed with either of these two conditions, there will be an increased psychological burden – even greater than if they had been diagnosed with AD.
If this is something that would affect the caregiver personally, it is best for that caregiver not to be involved but to ask for a replacement. Certain caregivers are able to deal better with these extremes than other caregivers. This is in no way saying that the others are not capable caregivers, Dementia, especially with added hallucinations or delusions, is one tough puppy to deal with.
In order to follow the mantra With Age Comes Respect, a caregiver must be able to give 150% at all times – in all situations. If not, there are others out there that will be able to do so. Don’t feel bad, we are all human!