From confused spells to outbursts, memory conditions like Alzheimer’s can cause behavioral changes that are difficult for loved ones to process. Some Alzheimer’s patients may exhibit signs of repetition, either repeating the same behavior or movement or repeating questions over and over again. Although answering the same question a dozen times in one day can be frustrating, there are ways to manage the phenomenon. Find out how to deal with a loved one’s repetitive questions to keep them – and yourself – calm, cool, and collected.
How to Deal with a Loved One’s Repetitive Questions
Understand the Cause of Repetitive Questions
If your loved one has a tendency to repeat questions, there may be several causes. First, remember that Alzheimer’s symptoms are caused by the deterioration of brain cells which can, in turn, damage your loved one’s short-term and long-term memory. In everyday interactions, that often looks like asking questions over and over again. To cope with repetitive questions, you should take a few things into consideration. First, are there any environmental influences like loud noises or clutter that could be worsening your loved one’s symptoms? Does your loved one repeat questions in certain places or at a certain time of day? Finally, remember that your loved one may have lost the ability to express concerns or ask for help. Repetitive questions might be their way of communicating anxiety, frustration, or something else. Do your best to tune into their needs to ensure they get the best care possible.
Keep Your Loved One Busy
If your loved one’s repetitive questions grow more frequent, make sure they’re keeping busy. Structure and engagement can help calm the mind. If you’re not sure where to start, try memory games or sensory activities. You can also redirect your loved one using a song, a snack, or a favorite beverage. Finally, you can try casually changing the subject by pointing out the pleasant weather or remarking on an upcoming holiday.
When in doubt, just be patient. Don’t try to use logic or argue with your loved one, as both tactics can prove frustrating and even harmful. Just do your best to accept the behavior and calm your loved one with a kind word or physical touch. Remember, for adults with Alzheimer’s, a little reassurance in the form of a hug or a gentle squeeze can go a long way. And if their behavioral isn’t particularly harmful, try not to worry too much about it. If you need to calm down after a frustrating encounter, you can always step outside, listen to a favorite song, or do some breathing exercises. For additional support, you can join online caregiver communities through organizations like ALZConnected.
When your loved one asks you the same question 10 times in a row, it can be tough to keep your cool. However, repetitive questions are a common symptom of Alzheimer’s and, while frustrating, they’re not typically harmful. Make sure to try to identify the source behind the questions, keep your loved one busy, and stay calm to manage the situation. If you’re having trouble managing your loved one’s Alzheimer’s symptoms, it might be time to look into a warm, inviting assisted living community where they can get the support they need.
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