My husband has early onset Alzheimer’s, and is going into the late stage. He is keeping me up about every other night, thinking there are cars, people in our room going to hurt us. Is he hallucinating? Is there anything I can do or he can take?

Hallucinations can be common with a form of dementia called Lewy Body but can happen with Alzheimer’s disease as well. Persons like your husband also have delusions which are defined as “fixed, false ideas.”

His beliefs are very real and potentially frightening to him. Offer lots of reassurance—he will read your emotions, and be calmed when you can offer a calm response.

Don’t try to argue or convince him that he is wrong—that rarely works.

You mention this happens at night, but not every night. Is there a way to keep him busy during the day with an adult day center program or lots of exercise and activity (perhaps hiring someone to be with him for part of the day)? This might help him sleep better at night.

I’m sorry you are going through this since lack of sleep can make it almost impossible for you to keep him at home. You may want to hire someone to help in the evening or consider a placement.
But there is potentially a silver lining—sometimes after a period of time, these delusions go away. Particularly if his dementia is advancing, he may get through this difficult time and be easier to support later.

7 thoughts on “What can I do about my husband’s hallucinations?

  • Heather

    Changes in lighting, darkened rooms can create miscuing as people see shadows and believe they are seeing movement, etc. Try increasing lighting in the sleep area with a lamp, nightlight, etc. Mirrors are also potentially problematic, as a reflection may be misidentified as an intruder. Try removing mirrors from the area or covering at night. These approaches worked with my parents and with many of my client families. Best of luck.

  • Roger

    My father has Lewy Body and he did/still does have these same thoughts. I suggest looking at the Lewy Body website, great information there! Prayers for your family!

  • pam

    Very good advice. My mom went through this stage, we were sitting on my porch and she “seen” kids playing across the street. We sat there for awhile talking about the kids. It is one of my happiest memories. By the way, mom thought I was a neighbor.
    On the other hand two other family members would argue with her and that would extremely upset my mom. I tried to explain to them what they were doing to her. But neither would get education or except outside help.

  • Karen

    I took care of my mother and she had this issue as well. I tried not let her know that it was not real only I had asked if she wanted me to ask them to leave and when she saw me go into the room where these “people” were and ask them or tell them it is time to go home now that seem to help her a bit.
    I don’t think that there is any kind of thing during the day that will help you. I think you are experiencing Sundowners. My mom roamed at night . I was just told of a Mat that you can purchase that sets off an alarm when the person walks on it to let you know they are roaming.

  • Roxann

    My father unfortunately has Demetria, Alzheimer’s also. His dillusions unfortunately led to the early death of my mother. He was just certain she was having an affair with her heart doctor. He was uncharacteristicly graphic and cruel to her. The stress was too much for her. She passed away almost three years ago. He still mentions it, but now it’s much more rare. He also thought the next door neighbors were trying to confiscate his property. We tried so hard to convince him he was having bad dreams but to no vail. God bless you. It’s a cruel disease. Get help

  • Erik

    get a bio light and have on in the am from 8-10 this will help with evenings

  • Lola

    My mom, who had Alzheimer’s, hallucinated a lot in the middle stage. One day, while sitting on the front porch, she was convinced the house across the street was on fire. I just assured her the firemen were putting it out. She also saw children peeping out behind furniture all of the time, and talked about how cute they were. I agreed. Just reassure and agree, don’t get upset, impatient or excited, and it will pass. She no longer had them toward the end. I will say that this stage marked the end of her being able to have much clarity of thought.

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