5 Tips to Effectively Manage Paranoia in Seniors

5 Tips to Effectively Manage Paranoia in Seniors

Paranoia in seniors with dementia can be challenging, but these tips can help.

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog in my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to track down its owner!”

Listening to a senior loved one express concerns like this that you know to be untrue is distressing – however, not unheard of. Your first instinct may well be to try and rationalize with the person with a response such as, “Nonsense! There is no way a dog could have gotten into the closet!” However, for various reasons, this could be the least effective technique to handle unreasonable thoughts and paranoia in seniors.

Instead, we at Hired Hands Homecare propose the following tactics which will help bring back a sense of calm and wellbeing:

  1. First, schedule an appointment with the senior’s physician. It is necessary to identify any cognitive problems in order to ensure she or he receives proper treatment if required. There also might be prescription medication side effects at play.
  2. Find out the thinking behind the irrationality, and then decide how to resolve the problem. For instance, if an air vent is loose or is blowing onto a row of hangers, it may be causing an unusual sound. 
  3. Instead of trying to correct the person, respond gently with support and compassion. Concentrate on acknowledging the thoughts being verbalized, and on having the person understand that you will be there to assist. Accompanying your loved one into another area and providing enjoyable distractions, such as listening to music, baking, gardening, or looking at photos together, can help you restore calm.
  4. One of the most effective ways to get over any challenge is finding out what has helped others in a similar situation. Think about joining an in-person or online community of family caregivers, making it possible for the exchange of useful advice and information. A number of options are available, such as AgingCare.com’s caregiver discussion forum. 
  5. Look for the support of an experienced in-home care provider, such as Hired Hands Homecare. Our caregivers are adept at helping aging parents remain active and involved, as well as in helping to reduce challenging behaviors. Working with a trustworthy caregiver also will provide you with necessary respite, to take a break from caregiving duties while feeling confident your loved one is getting quality care.

For additional ideas on assisting your senior loved one through challenges with growing older, dementia or chronic illness, reach out to Hired Hands Homecare, the top provider of memory care in Pleasanton, CA and the surrounding areas. 

We are always readily available to respond to any questions, share resources specific to the challenges you are facing, and to provide a free in-home consultation and development of a customized care plan to improve quality of life for an older adult. Give us a call any time at (866) 940-4343.

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