Approximately 20 to 30% of those living with Parkinson’s disease will experience visual hallucinations as a part of their progression with the disease. A less common form of psychosis in Parkinson’s disease is delusions. Affecting approximately 8% of those living with the disease, delusions are irrational or uncontrolled thoughts and beliefs that are not based on reality. As a family caregiver, any changes in your parent’s personality can be very upsetting, confusing, and even intimidating as you care for them. Understanding the different types of delusions your parent might experience can help you to better understand these changes, and cope with them in effective ways so you can continue to give your senior the care and support they need and deserve throughout their experience with the disease.
Some types of delusions your senior might experience as a part of their Parkinson’s disease progression include:
- Somatic beliefs. A senior dealing with somatic delusions may develop an obsession with their health, the functioning of their body, or a specific body part. This may be exhibited as anxiety, reporting strange symptoms, or frequently wanting to go to the doctor.
- You may find your parent has irrational thoughts of being betrayed or mistreated, or feel that those around them are not spending enough time with them or doing something wrong. This may be exhibited as aggression, suspicion, paranoia, or agitation.
- A senior who is experiencing persecutory delusions may believe they are being conspired against, are under attack, or are in danger. They might express this through withdrawal from social occasions, paranoia, or suspicious behavior.
Keeping your senior safe should be one of your primary goals as a family caregiver. This is particularly important if your aging parent is living with a serious health issue such as Parkinson’s disease. Because of the progressive nature of the disease, your parent will face increased challenges and safety risks as they move through the different stages of the disease. Having a senior care provider with your parent can be a fantastic way to protect their health and safety, and dramatically reduce the risk they will suffer potentially devastating consequences as a result of accidents such as falls. As a family caregiver, knowing your senior home care services provider is with your parent can help you to feel more at ease and confident in your parent’s well-being as they age and progress through the disease.
If you or someone you know needs senior care in Fairmont, MN, contact Prairie River Home Care. We provide quality and affordable home care services for many fragile or senior members in the communities we serve. Call us at (888) 660-5772 for more information.