A Helping Hand for Hoosier Alzheimer's Caregivers  - When you need a helping hand
Paranoia

Seeing a loved one suddenly become suspicious, jealous or accusatory is unsettling. Remember, what the person is experiencing is very real to them. It is best not to argue or disagree. This, too, is part of the dementia—try not to take it personally.

  • If the confused person suspects money is “missing,” allow her to keep small amounts of money in a pocket or handbag for easy inspection.

  • Help them look for the object and then distract them into another activity. Try to learn where the confused person’s favorite hiding places are for storing objects, which are frequently assumed to be “lost.” Avoid arguing.

  • Take time to explain to other family members and home-helpers that suspicious accusations are a part of the dementing illness.

  • Try nonverbal reassurances like a gentle touch or hug. Respond to the feeling behind the accusation and then reassure the person. You might try saying, “I see this frightens you; stay with me, I won’t let anything happen to you.

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