Paranoid Symptoms Among Older Adults

Muzumel A. Chaudhary, MD; Kiran Rabheru, MD, CCFP, FRCP, ABPN


Geriatrics and Aging. 2008;11(3):143-149. 

In This Article


No matter the diagnosis, the importance and effectiveness of nonpharmacological approaches should not be discounted. Psychoeducation is invaluable for patients, families, and caregivers experiencing a myriad of conflicting feelings in response to a heightened illness burden. Whether secondary to a lack of interest or reluctance to seek treatment, some level of acceptability of these symptoms, or lack of access to adequate treatment resources, despite the high prevalence of clinically significant late-life persecutory delusions and paranoid ideation, only a minority of affected individuals and their families engage in mental health service utilization.[7,9] Reassurance for the patient and education for the families are invaluable in promoting greater mental health service use and a reduction in illness morbidity and mortality.

Where possible, a comprehensive treatment plan should involve a multimodal approach to address issues of access to individual or group therapy for improved coping skills, environmental and behavioural modification strategies, appropriate housing and financial assistance, social support, and community resources to provide support to families and caregivers and offset patient deficits in IADLs/ADLs.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.