Some people with a dementing illness have hallucinations and may hear,
see or smell things that are not real. They may seem real to the person
and can make the person resistant to help. This may often result in agitation
and calling out.
Possible Underlying Causes:
A result of brain injury or superimposed delirium; agnosia (failure to
recognize things); problems may arise from difficulty distinguishing objects,
particularly in poor lighting conditions; misinterpreting sounds in the
environment; forgetting that someone they once knew is dead.
- Check environment to see if it is too stimulating (e.g. noise).
- Increase lighting, reduce shadow in room and make sure there is no
glare sources that may be disturbing the person.
- Play a soothing, familiar, or favorite piece of music.
- Try distracting the person by taking him/her into another room (e.g.,
kitchen for a snack).
- Keep background noises down by closing doors where machines are running
or turn down TV.
- You may wish to remove the person to a quieter, less stimulating area.
- Notice if there are too many patterned surfaces that might be disturbing
- Notice if there are glare sources coming from magazine pages, highly
polished floors or furniture. Try to eliminate glare through the use
of non-glare polished or wax, repositioning of lighting.
- Provide person with tactile experience (e.g., smooth fabric or stuffed
animal to hold) or hold person's hand while talking to him/her.
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