Posted December 26, 2017


Many consumers and caregivers ask dementia care in Lincoln Park: What is Capgras Syndrome and what are some tips to cope with this debilitating condition? Among advice offered is to use empathy, cues, and patience, as well as any available resources.
Imagine what it would be like to believe that everyone around you is an imposter? Those experiencing the mysterious condition known as Capgras Syndrome often feel this way. Many Americans live with the symptoms of Capgras- a delusion disorder- and its impacts stretch widely to include family, friends, and caregivers. If someone you love shows the signs of this medical condition, visit Senior Living Experts to find the services, support, and practitioners that you need.
Some common questions surrounding this condition include:

What is Capgras Syndrome?

Capgras Syndrome is a psychological condition that is also called “imposter syndrome” or “Capgras delusion disorder.” People experiencing this malady hold irrational beliefs that someone or something recognizable has been replaced by an imposter. In some instances, the afflicted individual may believe that a pet, object, or even their house has been replaced by a fraud.

Who is at risk for Capgras?

Individuals diagnosed with dementia are most at-risk of developing Capgras symptoms, as are those with Alzheimer’s disease. Any condition that impacts memory and that manifests in altered realities, such as Schizophrenia, could put you at risk of contracting Capgras. Some other factors that can contribute to Capgras Syndrome? Certain types of brain injury– particularly those affecting the right hemisphere of the brain- that results in lesions may also put you at risk. Those with epilepsy can also demonstrate signs and symptoms of this allusive condition. Capgras is more common among females, and in many instances, can impact children, too.

What is the treatment for Capgras Syndrome?

There really is no treatment for Capgras specifically, but rather addressing the underlying cause or condition that is contributing to the symptoms. For example, someone with schizophrenia that develops Capgras will likely be put on a regimen that attempts to reduce schizophrenic symptoms, which may lessen or reduce the Capgras episodes. Those working or caring for someone with Capgras are encouraged to provide a welcoming and non-judgmental environment for the individual afflicted, and making the person feel safe can reduce their anxiety and angst. Some medications have shown efficacy at reducing Capgras symptoms including drugs that boost the neurotransmitters in the brain which affect memory and impulsivity. Antipsychotics may also be prudent, and in some cases, brain surgery may be warranted.

How do I cope with the symptoms of Capgras?

Caring for someone with Capgras can be challenging, but try to use empathy and put yourself in the individual’s place. Some coping strategies that have been effective at helping those with Capgras Syndrome include these suggestions:

  • Be empathetic, and don’t challenge the client or patient’s sense of reality. Ask who or what is breaching their sense of safety, if you can.
  • Avoid arguments, power-struggles, and correcting the individual with Capgras. Allow them to vent and share their concerns, regardless if they are irrational or not.
  • Aim to make the individual feel safe and to provide a sense of security for them. Ask what will help them feel more secure.
  • Acknowledge and validate the individual’s feelings. Again, ask them what you can do to help.
  • Do what you can to remove the ‘imposter’ from the individual’s safe-place by politely asking them to exit the room. If you are the suspicious person in the mind of the client, have someone else step-in for a while.
  • Use verbal cues when entering or leaving the space. Call them by name and identify yourself in a casual way before they see you enter, if possible, which may trigger familiarity and decrease symptoms.

Dementia Care in Lincoln Park helps consumers understand what is Capgras Syndrome and tips to cope with someone that has this condition

Caregivers working with individuals that have Capgras Syndrome have distinct challenges facing them daily. It merits reaching out for support and resources that could be available to help them preserve their efficacy while preventing burnout. Talk with providers, practitioners, and physicians in the area to find adequate respite and rehabilitation as needed, for both the individual afflicted, as well as the caregiver themselves.
Senior Living Experts can help clients, consumers, and caregivers navigate the healthcare world with ease- and from the comfort of their own home! This online resource may also be able to point you toward practitioners that can help you as you continue to provide care for someone living with Capgras Syndrome. Not nearly enough is known about this mysterious and unique condition, and continued research may lead to more tangible treatment modalities or even a cure. Take support from community resources that may lighten the burdens of living with Capgras- as well as those that can provide adequate respite for primary caregivers and loved ones.

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