Suspicion and delusions
Suspicion and/or delusion can occur at any stage, but often occurs towards middle or late stage of dementia. Delusions are firmly held beliefs in things that are not real. This may result in the person becoming suspicious of those around them or even accusing others of stealing and other improper behaviour. Keep in mind that the situation appears to be very real to the person with dementia even though it’s not true. Don’t take accusations personally. It may be difficult not to take an accusation personally or be offended. Remember that the person with dementia does not mean to offend you and that the behaviour is a result of the disease. The person may be more suspicious of people than they were before the disease. Don’t argue and try to reason with the person. Keep your explanations simple. A delusion where the person thinks someone is stealing cutlery for example, can cause the person with dementia distress. You could reassure the person that they have enough cutlery without challenging their belief, and thus avoid confrontation.Provide comfort. You can provide reassurance that everything is all right and under control without having to go along with the persons false beliefs.Try to find the underlying reason for an accusation. Maybe the person doesn’t remember where they have placed an item and therefore accuses you of theft. Try to create a distraction with another activity the person enjoys.
Don't take accuastions personally
Don't argue or try to reason with the person
Try to find the underlying meaning
Distract with another activity