Dementia causes damage to the brain, which means the person might experience things differently. According to the Alzheimer’s Society, how they perceive things “often changes” as the condition progresses. It says: “Many people with dementia experience changes in how they understand the world around them.”
The most common type of hallucinations are visual, however, they can affect all the senses.
This means some people with dementia might experience tactile hallucinations.
They will physically feel things that aren’t there – “such as being kissed or insects crawling over their skin”.
The Alzheimer’s Society says: “Hallucinations can be extremely distressing, and can lead to the person with dementia becoming frightened and in need of support.
Stay with the person and try to reassure them – Ask them to describe their hallucination. Hallucinations may be limited to a particular setting.
Gently leading someone away from where they are having the hallucinations can help make them disappear.
Check that the person is not hungry, thirsty or uncomfortable – Dehydration, constipation or infection can lead to delirium, a cause of hallucinations.
It may help to distract the person and see if this stops the hallucinations.
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