What should I do when my loved one is a 65-year-old male and is having hallucinations?

Asked by

My loved one is a 65-year-old male and is having hallucinations. He is had transplant surgery and a surgery to help a blockage of blood flow to his brain last year. His medicines are closely monitored but when in the past year he has developed severe hallucinations. To the point they are debilitating to him. He sees these "people" no matter where he goes. He will not sleep in his own home and where ever he goes the "people" find him. He has even called 911 requesting back up because he felt he was surrounded in a shoot out. He has been taken to the hospital three times in the past year because of situations like this they keep him overnight transport him to another hospital for psychiatric evaluation. He is held 72 hours and then release because he is quite lucid. I have come to the decision that he becomes lucid because he is comfortable because he feel safe in the hospital where he is at home or anywhere in a known area he feels these people can find him. So he acts perfectly normal for the doctors but is soon as he returns home he becomes terrified and paranoid all over again. This is not just a nighttime thing this is a 24 hour a day thing it is all encompassing. I have called his doctors I have talked to the caregivers of the facilities I have even called the mental health crisis hotline and I keep being told that the only thing I can do is wait for him to pose a threat to himself or someone else before I can call 911 which seems a little late to me.


All I want is for him to feel safe and not be terrified all the time. I do not know what to do we have checked his medicines for inter action he takes his medicine like he is supposed to, he eats like he is supposed to. It is hard to get him to bathe because he was afraid something could happen when he is in the shower. We've resorted to clear shower curtain's so he can see out and that has helped a little. He is no longer functioning person. He is consumed by these people following him He will not go to a mental health care facility because he does not feel like anything is wrong. He does not think he is hallucinating because it is all incredibly real to him he feels like the family members need to get their eyes checked because we cannot see what he sees. He is an intelligent man and has a reasonable answer for any counter response we have. The family is exhausted we don't know what to do. He is in a facility as we speak and will be released tomorrow after being missing for two days this past weekend and found in the emergency room at the local hospital. There are no signs of any drug abuse through the toxicology reports. Any insight, any direction, any help would be appreciated. We are all scared for him and scared of what could happen. I chose Alzheimer's and dementia as the community to ask because I did not know what other community to go to. He has not been diagnosed with either.

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
Has he been seen by a neurologist? Has he had any recent brain imaging? Has he had a neurocognitive assessment?

Top Answer
There is a type of dementia, Lewy Body Dementia, that is often accompanied by hallucinations early on. I think that getting him to a neurologist who specializes in dementia is your next step here.
When he speaks to you of these people he sees, how do you react? I only ask because one thing I was taught about demention and hallucinations is that for the most part these individuals are not able to differentiate the fake from reality. They are unable to come back to our world so to speak. Sometimes we need to approach the hallucinations differently. If you were to ask him what you could do to help keep the people away, what would he say? Maybe he has a solution in his head somwhere. Maybe he hates being left alone. Maybe installing better locks on his doors. Maybe giving him an EMPTY container of pepper spray so he feels he has protection. I dont know if any of this helps but I wish you luck.
He feels safe in a hospital. Would he feel safe in a nursing home or other care facility? Could his family make that happen?
Mikis22, have your Dad tested for a urinary tract infection [UTI] as that can cause an older person to see things that aren't there. The test is very easy.

My Dad had an UTI, he was seeing ants everywhere. Once the doctor cleared up the UTI everything was back to normal.
A UTI in a male is serious so don't wait. I can't believe the doctors flip u off. Maybe u need new ones.
If this man has been evaluated in a psychiatric unit three times in the last year, it is hard to believe they haven't check for a UTI or for dementia. All things are possible, I guess, but this seems unlikely, don't you think? And if it were a uti it wouldn't clear up for 3 days while he was being evaluated and then flare up again when he gets home.

This poor man is miserable! And so is his family, I imagine. Have you considered placing him in a care center? Assisted Living, maybe?
I think the cause should be found before he is put in a care center. He could have a tumor or an aneurysm​.
My husband also was seeing people following him and talking about him. When he started seeing a geriatric psychiatrist, he was given Risperidone and the people disappeared. We were both so relieved. The doctor explained to me that the people were not real but they were real to him.

Share your answer

Please enter your Answer

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support