One of the aspects of our lives adversely affected by aging is the mind or our memory. As we age, we find it hard to remember past things and forget basic things more often. These episodes can be minor at first; we may just forget where we put the keys and eventually graduate to forgetting our spouse and children. Getting a diagnosis from a licensed doctor is essential if you or your loved one’s forgetfulness gets out of hand. You may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Both conditions can cause repetitive behavior in patients, like asking the same questions repeatedly. This behavior can be hard to handle for caregivers, even with help from assisted living, so we put together a list of ways you can cope with repetitive questions from your loved one.
1. Stay calm
Answering the same repetitive question can quickly get on your last nerve and make you snap. It is essential to take a deep breath when you feel like you are about to blow up and be patient. Do not keep any pent-up frustration as this could make you more volatile in such a situation. You can adopt a workout routine, yoga, or meditation to help you keep a level head.
2. Keep the answers brief
Answers you would give a regular Tom Dick and Harry will not work for dementia patients because their minds do not work the same. Keep your responses short and straightforward so the patient does not get confused, ask even more questions, or get agitated. Keeping your answers short will also save you time and energy when you have to answer the same question repeatedly.
3. Keep the patient distracted
Keeping the dementia patient occupied will aid in preventing repetitive questions. Keeping them focused on an easy task help keep them calm and entertained, so their minds do not wander off, leading to repetitive questioning. Of course, you do not want to encourage more questions by introducing a new and complex task, so go for an activity they enjoy and are thoroughly good at.
4. Focus on attending to the emotion behind the question
Dementia patients repeat themselves when anxious, excited, or confused. You can quickly identify these emotions and address them to aid in reducing the number of times they repeat the same questions.
5. Answer the question no matter how mundane
It is tempting to ignore repetitive questions hoping the dementia patient will forget they asked in the first place, but this does not help you or them. Always provide an answer so your loved one does not feel alienated and get anxious.
6. It is Okay to Take a Break
Caregivers need to take a break occasionally. These short scheduled brakes will allow you to engage in activities that let you blow off some steam. It is also good to change the environment so you do not feel trapped. Take advantage of this time to do something you love, interact with other family members, and do a little self-pampering. Remember, you cannot give from an empty cup. When you return, you will have the capacity and mental fuel to handle a hard day at work taking care of your dementia patient.
Is your loved one experiencing dementia and asking repetitive questions? Taking care of a dementia patient is a rigorous task that requires the input of a professional caregiver. You no longer have to care for your loved one alone; please look at what assisted living offers you and your loved one. Get in touch today and get the expert help you deserve.