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Can dementia patients see ghosts?

It's no lie that elderly dementia patients are known for seeing things that we cannot. Carers, doctors and family members all pass it off to their condition, and to a sizeable degree it very well could be.

However, there are some who believe that when a person suffers from dementia, their brains regress to an open-minded state that enables them to catch glimpses of the paranormal, much like a child or an animal supposedly can.

A foot in two worlds?

England's Mid Sussex Times recently reported that one individual believed his grandfather might have been able to see spirits. The man, author Maz Maric, lived with his grandfather in a small bungalow in a place called Haywards Heath. Throughout his time spent in that haunted place, he reported numerous occasions of experiencing faint breathing around his bed, footsteps, mysterious lights flickering and a frightening amount of other instances.

Do dementia patients see things that go bump in the night or imagine them?

His grandfather seemed to be able to see the spirits more clearly, and it led him to investigate dementia patients and spiritual activity more closely.

A number of carers he interviewed claimed similar instances of witnessing unexplainable events at night, though one sticks out above the rest. A particular individual, named Carer B for their protection, claimed that one day he or she heard some noises outside. Upon investigating the nearby window, there was a strange patch on it that appeared to be somebody's breath - on the outside. The health worker from the previous shift told him or her that the patient was repeatedly saying, "It's in the garden!"

On the blog Neuroscience and Psi, there are even more accounts of elderly people witnessing deceased spirits. One person claims his father often wakes up sleeping next to his late wife, and another has an unseen friend called Maria.

Unfortunately, the question of whether or not dementia patients can see into the other world will more than likely forever remain a mystery. If you know someone with dementia, listen to who they are seeing - you never know, it might be an old relative.

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