We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is the Connection Between Dementia and Hallucinations?

By Sherri Nield
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Dementia and hallucinations have a connection in some individuals, with about 10 percent of individuals who have dementia experiencing hallucinations. Dementia is a term that describes a progressive, slow decline in one's mental ability. A hallucination is an experience during which an individual believes he or she sees, hears, smells or feels something that is not there.

A variety of medical conditions can cause dementia. Many conditions lead to irreversible dementia that progressively worsens, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease and permanent brain damage caused by tumors or head injuries. Other types of dementia can be reversed, such as dementia caused by vitamin deficiencies, removable brain tumors, toxins, excessive drug or alcohol use and brain hemorrhages. Some people who suffer from major depression also show signs that mimic dementia.

Symptoms of dementia include memory problems, difficulty with language, feeling disoriented and exhibiting inappropriate or disruptive behavior. Dementia is most common in individuals over the age of 65. When dementia is irreversible, mental functionality usually deteriorates over a time frame of two to 10 years. Depending on the cause of dementia, treatment might be available to slow the rate of decline. Dementia in the early states usually starts with forgetting recent events and struggling with appropriate judgment and abstract thinking, and as the condition worsens, some sufferers begin to struggle with dementia and hallucinations.

Hallucinations are a symptom of psychosis, which is a disturbance in thought process and perception. Mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and psychotic depression can cause hallucinations. Hallucinations also can result from drug and alcohol use, epilepsy, high fever, severe illness and dementia.

There are many types of hallucinations that cause an individual to sense things that do not exist. Types of hallucinations include auditory hallucinations, during which voices are heard; olfactory hallucinations, during which smells and odors are experienced; and visual hallucinations, during which something is seen. With individuals who have dementia and hallucinations, the most common type is visual hallucinations.

Caring for someone who suffers from dementia and hallucinations can be extremely challenging. If a hallucination is not causing fear or anxiety, it is best for the caregiver to do nothing. For hallucinations that are upsetting, it is recommended that caregivers use the "Three R's" method to reassure, respond, and refocus dementia patients.

For example, if a man with dementia believes that he saw someone poison his food, the caregiver should start by calmly telling him that he or she was there and did not see anyone around his food. Next, the caregiver should respond by offering to check the kitchen or talk to nurses to see if they observed anything. Finally, the caregiver should refocus the patient's attention to a pleasant activity, such as watching television or working on a word search puzzle.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.