There are many difficult physical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, the disease can also cause something called Parkinson’s psychosis. The mental symptoms of Parkinson’s psychosis often include hallucinations, making being a caregiver to a person with PD even harder. The first step in becoming a more effective caregiver for someone with PD who has hallucinations is to learn more about them.

Types of Hallucinations

Hallucinations are something like tricks the brain plays on a person. They cause the person to perceive something that isnt there. While most people tend to think of a person seeing things when they hallucinate, there are different kinds of hallucinations. They are:

  • Visual: These are the types of hallucinations that cause people to see things. Some common visual hallucinations in people with PD are deceased loved ones and animals scurrying through the room. Visual hallucinations are the most commonly experienced.
  • Auditory: Auditory hallucinations cause the person to hear something that isnt real.
  • Olfactory: People with olfactory hallucinations usually smell something bad, but theres nothing causing the smell.
  • Tactile: With these hallucinations, the PD sufferer feels physical sensations, like something crawling on them.
  • Gustatory: This is tasting something without a source. Usually the taste is bitter or abnormal.

How to Respond

Its often disturbing to family members when their loved ones experience hallucinations. However, knowing how to respond may help you to better deal with it. Some tips for responding to hallucinations are:

  • Keep Calm: Even if youre upset or unnerved by a hallucination, try not to show it. Remain calm and pleasant. This can help your family member to stay calm as well. Try turning off the television or other background noises, which may make the situation more confusing.
  • Touch It: The person with PD might know that what they are seeing is not real, but it can still be frightening. Encourage them to try to touch the thing they are seeing. This can cause it to disappear.
  • Never Argue: Arguing with the person isnt likely to produce results and will only upset them more. Instead, listen to how they are feeling and react with empathy.
  • Alter the Environment: Sometimes doing things like turning on more lights can reassure the person.

Because being a caregiver to someone with Parkinson’s psychosis can be very stressful, you’re likely to need some additional support. Hiring an elderly care provider can allow you to take a break from being a caregiver to spend some time on yourself. Elderly care providers can ensure your family member is safe and comfortable while you aren’t there. Not only can elderly care providers see to the physical care of the PD patient, they can also help with tasks around the house. Elderly care providers can perform light housekeeping chores, cook meals, and help with laundry, leaving you with less to do when you return.


If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care in Maple Grove, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.