Very often people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia use repetitive utterances, like questions or statements, to communicate with you. At first, it might seem that the communication is about the topic contained in the utterance, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Keep it Simple
If you’re giving your senior full responses, those can get complicated. It’s much better to keep your responses as simple as possible and to remain calm and cheerful when you do so. This is going to save you more energy and time than you realize, especially if your elderly family member is stuck on that one question.
Look for What’s Behind the Words
You need to get better at being a detective if your senior is exhibiting repetitive statements and questions. It’s possible that she’s feeling anxious, upset, or even angry and the repetitive questioning is her only means of expressing that feeling. She may also need some help with something else, such as getting to the bathroom or eating something because she’s hungry. Repetitive questioning can be a way to get your attention and attempt to hold it.
Use Distractions Carefully
Distraction can definitely be a helpful tool when it comes to repetitive statements and questions from your elderly family member. You do need to be careful with distractions, though, because if there’s a deeper meaning behind the repetition, you might be distracting your senior from something you need to know about. Once you’ve done some digging and found that there doesn’t seem to be a deeper issue, distraction can be what you need.
Take a Minute
This is exhausting. It takes a lot more out of you than you realize to hear the same question or statement over and over. The big problem is that you’re constantly being interrupted. Take a minute or two for yourself, especially if you’re feeling stressed. Stay in the bathroom a minute longer or head into another room to take a few deep breaths.
Find the Patterns
Very often, these types of repetitive utterances have a pattern behind them. There’s something that ties them together for your senior, whether that’s the triggers that initiate the behavior or the utterances themselves. Once you find the patterns, you may be able to help your senior avoid these repetitions as often.
It’s not easy to hear the same questions or statements over and over again without reacting in a way that might make you feel full of regret. Make sure that you’re looking out for yourself throughout this process. Hiring senior care providers allows you to take time away so that you can get a break from repetition for a little while.