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How to deal with my mom's hallucinations


Registered User
Feb 22, 2015
My mom was diagnosed with mild dementia over 2 years ago. It is getting progressively worse. The doctor will not put her any medications due to her having so many health issues. My question is when my mom believes that someone has been in her house and stolen from her (she hides things and throws things away) do I let her think I believe this as well and play along or do I try tell her the reality. (Like "here are your shoes, or mom your money is safe in the bank). I want her to feel she can confide in me. But I also her want her to feel secure and that I will protect her. This started around 6 months ago and it's progressing from weekly to daily hallucinations of people in her home. By the way, She lives with my dad.


Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
West Hertfordshire
If its a hallucination/dream or imagined scenario them go along with .

One morning my mother told me a long convoluted tale about a fire in the night, she had a whole fire brigade in the airing cupboard!

''If there was a fire, why didn't you ring me?''

''You knew, you were making the cups of tea and coffee''

I really couldn't see the point in telling her it was a dream .

Fairly soon after dad died.....
Another night ... another dream

Dad fell, and cracked his head on he hearth.
Blood all over the carpet
I patched him up , cleaned the carpet, gave him a cup of tea and sat him in the armchair....

As soon as I said he was okay, she happily got out of bed, into shower etc and he didn't mention him at all. The alternative was to break her heart again, by telling her that her husband of 55 years had died...suffer the wrath of not having told her....blah blah blah

Its not always easy though
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Registered User
Jul 30, 2014
Honestly, it depends. Oddly I've had a whole fire/fire brigade delusion with my father. I didn't bother putting that one right as it's deeply embedded (repeated often) and in a way does no harm. If I think he's getting paranoid towards me I correct him. I reassure him that I always tell him the truth. EG He became convinced that he never knew he had a stepdaughter and we all kept it secret from him. I took him back in time and asked if he remembered his stepson. (Since died.) Yes. And he knew this was his stepson? Yes. So why would anyone not tell him about his stepdaughter? Why was he going to visit C, if he didn't know she was family? There was a surprised pause and then an 'Oh yes' in a small voice.


Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
Yes, I agree that you have to adapt your reaction to the circumstances. I cannot indulge my husband's obsession and delusions about work, tools, letting employers down etc because this is daily and he would be out the door searching for this non existent job if I let him. He has grown out of some delusions and thank God we no longer are selling our properties around the world on a daily basis!

His latest is to ask for his brothers ( he is the last remaining brother of seven) and sometimes I change the subject, breeze right through the question, remind him that they are all dead - it all depends on how he is. We are all learning new skills with this disease. It's a pity these skills are often not shared by those we are dealing with in the medical world.


Registered User
Feb 18, 2015
There is a certain amount of tactfulness required because someone with dementia will never reality or the truth. The amount of times dad and I have struggled to make mum see the truth in something, is a lot. She can't see my situation, that I am alone in a foreign country with no friends, job etc. It really does test your mental strength at times.

Mum acts selfishly (or it appears) because no one can ever be ill or iller than her. If I tell her that we are all in the same boat i.e. all not brought any clothes recently, she will think she is worse off, when she isn't. In the end I use my judgement, so I won't argue about the clothes issue because although in her mind she is the only one with worse clothes or the only one who can be ill, I know that she will never be able to see the full picture so why bother arguing.

Money is a sore point too, she has got me to hide her money papers so dad can't see and resents share dividends from her dad going into the joint account. I let her think she has a large pension, even though in reality the money has gone on household expenses. I have to lie about the money situation and say I don't know.

She also buys excessively i.e. 20 packets of incontinence liners in one shop, uses toilet rolls a lot (dad moans that she uses a toilet roll in a day) but will also tear off half a square of kitchen towel.