Try this on: A friend told me that her aunt who lives in an assisted living facility (I hate that word, facility. It sounds more like a factory or a warehouse for the infirm than a home or residence.) Anyway….
One night her aunt woke up hearing the sound of someone in her room. When she asked who was there, the person quickly left.
When her aunt mentioned the incident to an aide, the latter dismissed her report saying: “You were probably having a hallucination.” That sent her skyward. My friend’s aunt’s mental faculties are as sharp as a teenager’s (that may not be saying much these days, but you get what I mean). The aide summarily dismissed her report, not by saying she’d check it out or asking for more information, but by demeaning her. The aide assumed that this older person had to be over-medicated, suffering from a dizzy spell, or simply delusional.
As it turned out, a night attendant HAD entered her room and failed to identify himself when challenged.
So much for the delusional, hallucinating aunt. But will the aide, or for that matter, any of us continue to assume that older persons are lacking in mental acuity the next time they report something that seems on the edge of reality?