Talking to someone who isn’t there

Hi I wonder if this is normal my dad talks to people who aren’t there at first it was through the night and I thought he’d been dreaming but now it’s when he isn’t asleep or just waking up this afternoon he had a conversation with someone then turned to me and said is he coming back who the kid I was just talking to he also laughs like a mad man it’s like a giggle but then he gets angry he thinks the people are coming out of the tv to talk to him he’s getting worse I don’t know what to do or say

This is not normal. Would it help if you got him to see a therapist or not? I think this is a common secondary impairment of dementia. What about a cheap notebook where he could communicate with this “friend”?

Definitely not right.

How to deal with it? Tell us a bit more about dad. Age? Disability? Live alone, or with you?

It may not be ’ normal’ as such, but a part of some dementia’s and mental issues. Talking and arguing with the television is common. Saw it with my late husband, and with others in the nursing home.
Write to your dads GP, as a starting point,. The GP wont be able to discuss very much with you, but will ask to see your dad, then you can say its a routine check, or whatever. Medication will help,
It is scary to witness it especially as the person truly believes its real.

Hi Tracey,
I agree with Pet’s advice. It is most likely a manifestation of the dementia, but do write to his GP as meds may be able to help. Also worth ruling out that he doesn’t have a urine infection as that can increase their levels of confusion.

If you like reading, can I recommend It’s about a son who cares for his Mum. She has dementia and has also imagines things and gets confused, like your dad does. It may give you a different perspective and some ideas for how to cope with this.


Hi thank you for responding my dad is 90 he’s lived with me since may when he broke his hip he got delirium in hospital and he’s got worse he lived by himself before my mum has been dead 20 years my son and daughter took it in turns to do his shopping and take him to appointment s he used to say I was talking to Doreen ( my mum) last night she was in the bedroom with me we just thought he’d been dreaming but he’s talking to different people everyday now in the early hours of Sunday morning 2.30 he was shouting get in here (I sleep downstairs) I went up and he said not you I want him next to you to come and take these bags off what bags ? These he pulled his pjs down and pulled his penis up this bag he put it on I want it off he wouldn’t believe that it wasn’t a bag then he gets angry he also keeps saying inappropriate stuff to me which makes me feel awful I don’t know what to do

This cant go on without some support. I’m no expert, but remember vividly my husband’s confusions. Delirium, UTI, a mini stroke, could be lots of reasons. Call 111 for advice? I doubt any improvement will happen without some diagnosis and medication.