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Tips for Coping with Repetitive Questions from Alzheimer’s Patients

By Kurt Glaser

Tips for Coping with Repetitive Questions from Alzheimer’s Patients

Have you ever noticed that people who suffer from Alzheimer’s often repeat things?

Short-term memory loss is one of the most challenging symptoms of mental impairment such as Alzheimer’s Disease of dementia. Rest assured that no senior will want to aggravate you by repeating things, and often they too are frustrated at that process.

It’s natural to have tons of grace for the same questions being asked for a short while, but you can easily run out of patience as the disease progresses. So, what to do? Here are some tips that will help!

People with Alzheimer’s may repeat things…a lot

Why do Alzheimer’s and dementia patients say things over and over?

First, it’s crucial to understand that older adults often repeat things for an added sense of security as they age. People with mental impairments can find repeating things to be comforting when they aren’t sure what is going on around them. Ultimately, it’s all about them feeling in control of their environment.

4 Tips to Help Cope with Repetition

1. Try not to respond to their choice of words and focus on their emotion.
If you notice the same question being repeated, try to get a sense of the insecurity that might be at the root of the question they are asking. Never underestimate the power of touch! A hug or touch can be very reassuring! If they feel more secure, they can often stop to think about what they are really trying to say.

2. Don’t be long-winded.
Naturally, you will want to communicate with the senior in your life the same way you always have. But if they have Alzheimer’s or dementia, this can be challenging. Keeping your answers brief and concise will go a long way in preventing confusion and frustration.

3. Use distraction techniques.
If they are stuck fixating on a question, offering them another activity can be very effective. Perhaps something to eat or a favorite TV show. You could also simply change the subject.

4. Take a time-out.
If you find yourself getting increasingly agitated at answering the same questions over and over, take the time to step away and calm your own nerves. This is super important as you learn how to be a caregiver.

Conclusion
The bottom line is that hearing questions repeated all day will grind on your nerves, so you should expect it and learn to be prepared to cope. Try not to lose your cool. It won’t help things and will solve nothing for either of you. Learning to put these techniques into practice will save your nerves from being frayed many times a day!

Understand that there are many others who are going through the same issue, so join a support group on social media or find a friend to talk to when you need a break. Caregiving is not only about the senior in your life, but also about learning to care for yourself so you can effectively care for them!

For more information on dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, please contact us today!

Home Helpers of Farmington Valley is a locally-owned, trusted home health care agency and offers quality, compassionate senior in-home care services including home care assistance, personal care, companion care, respite care, Alzheimer's & dementia care as well as homemaker services in Avon, Bloomfield, Canton, Collinsville, East Windsor, Farmington, Granby, New Hartford, Simsbury, South Windsor, Weatogue, West Hartford, Windsor, and Windsor Locks, Connecticut.