hallucinations and how to handle them

Discussion in 'I have a partner with dementia' started by nonasusan, Jan 10, 2016.

  1. nonasusan

    nonasusan Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016
    My partner has having been hallucinations and the advice seems to be to discuss this with the doctor but so far he doesn't find them frightening at all and I worry that discussing with a doctor with him present will frighten him as so far I can just go along with them and then distract him. It may make him aware of how far he has lost reality which could have a bad effect on him and on our relationship. So far he is about 50% in relatively normal life and 50% lost. I wonder, since there is nothing much that can be done whether it is best to cope alone without medical intervention?
  2. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Are you sure the advice you have seen is to discuss them with the GP with him present? Because while I think it might a good idea to make the GP aware that he is experiencing them, because there may be meds that can help, I see no benefit to discussing this sort of thing in front of the person having them. And in truth, if they aren't distressing him or you, and they are manageable, you don't have to do anything.
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My husband hallucinated for quite a long time. There were other people in the house and a lady who sat in his chair.

    He often wondered if there were enough beds and enough table settings at meal times.

    I asked him if they frightened him and he said they didn`t so I just went along with it.

    I really can`t remember how long they lasted but eventually there was no one there.

    I did put it down to the dementia but it could have been the meds he was on.
  4. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    #4 Shedrech, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    Hi nonasusan
    they are comforting response from jenniferpa and Grannie G - and you are clearly doing well caring for your husband; you know him and his needs the best
    if you are concerned about a face to face visit (and I agree that there would be nothing untoward about you talking to the GP without your husband present, if you are worried about your husband's reaction) maybe just write to his GP/consultant so that the GP is kept in the picture - the information can then be kept on your husband's notes, and the GP can ask to see you and/or him if the GP thinks that is worthwhile
    best wishes

    PS just realised you're new to TP - so welcome :)
    as you've just discovered there are lots of thoughtful helpful members to chat with - so do write again
  5. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013

    Hi and welcome to TP. I would absolutely agree that it would not be a good idea to discuss this sort of thing in front of your husband. I've recently replied on another thread that what I used to do was to produce a statement "To Whom It May Concern", which I regularly updated. I'd then ensure this was presented, in advance of our appointment, to any professional we saw.

    John would frequently complain that he couldn't sleep because "all the other men are making a noise in my room". In his mind, there were other people present in his bedroom, and I learnt it was futile to argue, because he could see them. So instead, I would march into his bedroom (he'd be cowering behind me) and shout, into the empty room, "Right! You can all clear out now! This is John's room, and you have to leave!". Then I would open the front door saying "Go on! Off you go!", and then turn to John and say "they've all gone now darling", and he would be so pleased.

    It took a long while to learn the various tactics that worked, and after a while, you realise that what you can see, and what they can see, are both very real to each person. And you learn to go with the flow. Hope that helps. xxx
  6. nonasusan

    nonasusan Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016

    Thank you to those of you who replied to my message about hallucinations. I am amazed how much this helps to share the anxieties with others who are going through the same things. To start with I was almost frightened to deal with such a different reality and now that I see it is part of it and not in itself dangerous I can see that going along with the hallucinations rather than trying to bring back reality is much the best way for him.The house appears to have many people in it to him but none of it seems to worry him..only me!
  7. nonasusan

    nonasusan Registered User

    Jan 10, 2016

    Thank you so much. It sounds very similar to what I am experiencing with my partner and it really helped me a lot to read of your experience.
  8. Scarlett123

    Scarlett123 Registered User

    Apr 30, 2013
    I think that one of the many reasons TP is so great, is that though it may not always help to read that others have experienced similar things, it helps you realise that you're not alone. And sometimes others' experiences may provide suggestions for the future.

    I've often posted about the time John came into the bathroom, whilst I was trying to have a wee, one Sunday morning and announced "Mrs Thatcher's here, and I'm in my pyjamas! She's in the hall!". I finished what I was doing, calmly washed my hands and proceeded into the empty hall.

    It would have been futile to mention that I, too, was in my nightie, and that Mrs Thatcher was dead. So, speaking to the wall, I said something like "How nice of you to call on us, but I'm sorry, it's not at all convenient". Then I opened the front door, and called to the empty street "mind how you go!", shut the door, and announced to John "she's gone".

    He spent ages afterwards moaning that her aides should have phoned instead of just turning up unannounced, and should have realised folk would still be in their nightclothes. I just went along with it. Like the time he told me Pam Ayres had joined one of his Day Centres ..........
  9. Amy in the US

    Amy in the US Registered User

    Feb 28, 2015
    You might read some of the information on hallucinations on the Alzheimer's Association website. Here is one to get you started:


    I would definitely tell the GP, so they know what is going on, but agree there is no need to do so with your husband present. Why upset him? Make a call when you have a moment of privacy, or send a letter, or write a note that gets handed to the doctor before the next appointment. No need to involve your husband.

    And when Mrs Thatcher turns up, you'll know what to say!

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