I have discussed many issues with each of my clients. One such issue that several of my clients have admitted to is experiencing hallucinations. A lot of times this is caused from Frontotemporal Dementia or FTD.
The hallucinations may amount to the fact that my clients are seeing or hearing things that no one besides them are experiencing. My eldest client to date would see a figure that appeared similar to the Grim Reaper. This so-called ‘being’ would appear in a corner of her bedroom every evening. She always wondered if death was there to get her. She would talk to the figure and ask it ‘tonight was the night’ and the figure would either answer verbally or with a shake of its head. It is no wonder that this was frightening to her!
I have looked up suggestions that I lend to my clients from the http://memory.ucsf.edu/ftd/livingwithftd/practicaltips/alleviating/multiple/hallucinations website. This shows them that I always try to stay on top of things thus showing them that With Age Comes Respect.
The suggestions on that website include:
- Avoid arguing or disagreeing with your loved one by denying the hallucination; try to be reassuring and comforting instead.
- Avoid pretending you also see/hear the hallucination in order to make your loved one feel better.
- It’s okay to say, “I don’t see/hear what you do, but I believe you are seeing/hearing it.”
- Try to redirect your loved one from the hallucination to a soothing activity.
- Limit environmental activity and noise.
- Use a calm quiet approach and create a quiet environment.
- Keep areas well lit so things in the room are not misidentified.
- Cover glass tables, mirrors and other pieces of furniture that have a high gloss and may create visual disturbances.
- Avoid the flickering, changing light of a TV which might prompt hallucinations.
- Turn off a television, radio, or computer if you think that is causing the hallucination – your loved one may not be able to tell the difference between entertainment and reality.