How to Deal with Repetition from Your Elderly Loved One with Dementia
Elderly Care in Monmouth Junction NJ
A common symptom that caregivers experience with their elderly loved ones who have dementia or Alzheimer’s is repetition. This can be a frustrating habit to experience from your loved one, particularly if you feel the situation has been addressed over and over. The problem is that there are a lot of different reasons your loved one may be repeating words or actions, and the sooner you figure out her code, the better.
Try to Evaluate the Cause of the Repetition
Your loved one might repeat questions, actions, phrases, or just about anything else. The causes for all of this repetition can vary, too. Much of it may have to do with simple memory loss, but there are other factors at play. If your loved one is anxious or agitated, she might become more repetitive than usual. She could also be bored or restless, so her brain gets stuck in a loop. Your loved one may have other issues that require assistance but that she doesn’t know how to express. So if she is hungry or thirsty, feeling pain, or needs something else, she might instead become more repetitive.
Reassure Your Loved One
The first thing to do is to reassure your loved one that you’re there for her and that she’s okay. This can sometimes be enough to calm some of the repetition. From here, you may need to do additional evaluation, though, because you haven’t solved anything yet. Try asking your loved one some questions or simply observing her for a few minutes.
Leave Notes Wherever They Might Help Most
If the problem is related primarily to memory loss, try leaving notes for your loved one wherever they’ll help. Your loved one might forget that she has snacks in a cabinet, for example, so it can help to leave a note on the right cabinet with a picture of her favorite snack.
If There’s a Physical Cause, Solve It
Once you determine that there’s a physical cause for the repetition, solve it. Your loved one might need to use the bathroom or there might be something wrong with the television and her favorite television program is on. Depending on how advanced your loved one’s memory problems are, this may be difficult to decode. The good news is that your loved one might respond the same way to these triggers in the future, making it easier to spot the problem and provide a solution faster.
Try Using Distractions
Sometimes the problem is sheer boredom or your loved one just needs a change of pace or scenery. Try suggesting a walk around the yard to check out the flowers. Or maybe start scheduling visitors for your loved one if she starts to show these signs at the same time every day.
Sorting out the causes and solutions can seem a little like trial and error but you can always ask your loved one’s doctors and elderly care providers for help.