It is very common for people with Alzheimer’s Disease to ask the same question over and over and to get “stuck” on a certain topic. One thing you can do is gently redirect them into an activity or into a different conversation. You can answer the question first, and then say, “Dad, would you like to come into the kitchen and help me make a snack?” or “Mom, how about if we go for a walk around the block together?” Remember, the person with dementia isn’t intentionally being difficult—their brain has just changed, and they can no longer process information the same way.
Here are a few tactics you can try in response to this type of repetition:
- Encourage your loved one to find the answer to the question they keep repeating.
- Your loved one may become anxious about future events, which can lead to repetition—avoid mentioning the trip until a short time before it takes place.
- Reassure your loved one that they are safe and loved.
- Try letting the repetitive actions run their course.
- Ask your loved one to tell you more about their concerns—sometimes drawing out the conversation can stop the repetition.
- If your loved one is using repetitive phrases or movements, this can be due to a noisy or stressful surroundings or boredom.
- Keep your loved one engaged in activities they used to enjoy.
- Try distracting your loved one with their favorite treat or song when they are repeating words or questions.
- If your loved one becomes fixated on an object, distract them and remove.
For more information and tips about responding to repetition with senior loved ones, please go to: https://www.helpforalzheimersfamilies.com/learn/quick-tips/repetition or contact our member, Mike Brunt with Home Instead.