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Mental Health

Vivid Hallucinations and Old Age

09/02/2009

Question:

My father is 83 years old and is currently recovering from a brocken neck due to a fall. His recovery has been long so far three months without any real progress. Lately he has been having vivid dreams throughout the day and night where he will often see people and sometimes lines or fillimantsw from the ceiling or from people that he calles angel hair. Often he realises that thes are only figmants of his immagination but more recently they have become so vivid that he is convinced that they are real and that only he can see them. A few of the more recent visions are of people at night working on my mother connecting these angel hairs to her to remove sickness of her energy. He beleaves that they know he is there but he would not talk to them or interfear for fear of harming his wife. Based on what he has been telling me I am worried that there is something wrong with him beyond the physical. I know that he is on a large coctail of medications for pain, blood thinners, BP medicaiton and drugs to help accellerate the healing of his bones. I don`t know what it may be or how I can approach my parents about my concerns.

Answer:

I am sorry about your father's problems.

Many factors contribute to visual hallucinations as you point out.
The very best approach is to discuss these with his physicians
and also to include in that discussion (in addition to his medications) are the possibility of head trauma (injury), dementia, urinary tract infections and Lewy Body disease.

Again, he needs to be seen and evaluated because of these symptoms. I hope that this helps.

For more information:

Go to the Mental Health health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Stephen F Pariser, MD Stephen F Pariser, MD
Faculty Emeritus
Professor of Psychiatry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University