May 7, 2019

Paranoia in Seniors

Paranoia in seniors can be challenging. These tips can help.

“I’m telling you, there’s a dog inside my closet! I hear it growling all night long. We’ve got to track down its owner!”

Hearing a senior loved one express anxieties similar to this that you know to be irrational is distressing – although not uncommon. The first impulse can be to try and rationalize with the individual with a reply such as, “Nonsense! There is absolutely no way a dog could have gotten into your closet!” Yet for several different reasons, this can be the least effective option to deal with paranoia in seniors.

Alternatively, at Continuum, providers of the trusted assisted home care St. Louis senior need, we encourage the following approaches which will help bring back a sense of peacefulness and well-being:

  1. First off, schedule an appointment with the senior’s health care provider. It’s essential to discover any cognitive problems in order to ensure she or he receives proper treatment if necessary. There also could be prescription side effects developing.
  2. Find out the thinking associated with the irrationality, and subsequently decide how to eliminate the situation. For instance, possibly the heating vent near the closet is loose, or an air vent is blowing across a row of hangers and resulting in an unusual sound.
  3. In place of trying to correct the senior, respond tenderly with assurance and empathy. Focus on accepting the feelings being conveyed, as well as on having the person know that you will be there in order to help. Accompanying the senior into another room and providing interesting distractions, such as listening to music, baking, gardening, or browsing through photos together, can help restore calm.
  4. One of the best possible ways to get over any challenge is simply determining what has helped others in the same situation. Consider joining an in-person or online community of family caregivers, making it possible for the exchange of helpful advice and information. A wide range of choices are available, such as’s caregiver discussion forum.
  5. Search for the support of a professional in-home care provider, such as Continuum. Our caregivers are skilled at helping the elderly remain active and involved, as well as helping to relieve challenging and difficult behaviors, such as paranoia in seniors. Working with a dependable caregiver will also provide you with necessary respite to take a break from caregiving duties while knowing your loved one is experiencing high quality care.

For more advice on assisting a senior loved one through struggles with growing older, dementia or chronic illness, get in touch with the senior care experts at Continuum, the leaders in assisted home care St. Louis families trust. We are always readily available to answer any questions, share resources specific to the challenges you are encountering, and to provide a free-of-charge in-home consultation and development of a customized care plan to improve quality of life for a senior loved one. Reach out to us any time at (314) 863-9912.