Domain : Symptoms

Category : My daily life

Simplified definition

A condition in which a person sees, hears, feels, smells or tastes something that is not there.

Source: Houria Aiouaz, for Alzheimer Foundation

Referenced definition

“False belief based on incorrect inference about external reality that is firmly held despite what almost everyone else believes and despite what constitutes incontro¬ vertible and obvious proof or evidence to the contrary.”

Source: American Psychiatric Association. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Fifth Edition. San Francisco: 2013


Hallucinations can be extremely distressing and can lead to the person with dementia becoming frightened and in need of support. However, some people find the hallucinations pleasant or comforting.”

Source: Alzheimer’s society. Hallucinations and dementia. [Internet]. [cited on Sept 7, 2022].


  • Hallucinations can lead to incoherent speech and delusions, such as feeling that everybody is out to hurt you or thinking that you are living at an earlier time of your life.
  • It may be useful to focus on how the person feels after when they are hallucinating (frightened, happy, or sad) rather than trying to prove them they are hallucinating.



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