Why Seniors Experience Paranoia and How to Address It

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Many seniors experience paranoia as they age. For instance, your loved one may experience paranoia if he or she has dementia, especially Alzheimer’s. When the functioning of the brain is compromised, your loved one may become paranoid about various things, such as finances or negative news he or she may have heard. Caledon elderly care professionals look at the reasons behind seniors experiencing paranoia and how caregivers can address it.

Dementia and Alzheimer’s 

Paranoia is associated with both of these conditions. Dementia and Alzheimer’s alter the brain function and cause seniors to become paranoid about a variety of things. Remembering things and staying in the present moment is difficult for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s, which can lead to delusions and suspicions. Paranoia may result from the delusions and become a way for your loved one to project feelings of fear. Try to stay positive, and if there is a simple answer to his or her fears, share your thoughts, but do not overwhelm your loved one with arguments or lengthy explanations. 


If your loved one has had a stroke, it may have injured the parts of the brain involved in perception, awareness of surroundings, and cognition. When any of these functions is damaged, it can lead to paranoia and hallucinations. To prevent these symptoms, make the environment as stable and comforting as possible. Regulate your loved one’s sleeping patterns and discourage him or her from taking long naps during the day. Avoiding long naps helps maintain standard sleeping patterns instead of waking up at night with paranoid delusions, which seniors who have had a stroke can experience. 


The type of treatment your loved one is undergoing could cause him or her to experience paranoia. Although the medications may treat a specific illness or injury, they could also alter your loved one’s consciousness, causing him or her to become delirious and paranoid. To prevent this side effect, consult your senior loved one’s doctor and ask him or her to evaluate the situation and prescribe a different medication or form of treatment. 

Brain Tumors 

If your loved one has a brain tumor, he or she may begin to experience mood and personality changes that interrupt his or her daily activities. Regardless of how small or large the tumor is, it can cause an overproduction or underproduction of hormones, which can lead to paranoia. Your loved one will need to seek medical treatment for a brain tumor. However, as a caregiver, you can make things clear and simple and be as reassuring as possible.

If you are unsure about how to manage your loved one’s feelings of paranoia, get in touch with Home Care Assistance. We provide expertly trained caregivers who can help seniors experiencing such conditions. Our caregivers can also provide specialized dementia and Alzheimer’s home care. Caledon, ON, families can call 905-951-8885 and schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly and knowledgeable Care Manager.