Family caregivers to older adults with dementia often encounter challenging behaviors. One such behavior is repetition. Dementia may cause the senior to repeat a phrase over and over, or they might ask the same question time and time again. It’s not a dangerous behavior, but it certainly is a frustrating one. What can you do when your aging relative repeats themselves? Here are some suggestions that may help.
Easier said than done, right? When your aging relative constantly repeats themselves, it can make you want to blow your stack. You may feel the urge to yell. Do your best to maintain your calm. Take a deep breath. If you need to and the senior is in a safe place, leave the room for a moment. And, if you do lose your temper, give yourself a break. Your feelings are normal.
Understand the Cause
The main cause of repetition is the effects dementia has on the brain. It destroys brain cells and affects the older adult’s ability to understand the world around them. In addition to the effects of the disease, there are certain factors that may lead to the behavior. For example, the older adult may have a concern that they are having trouble expressing. They may be feeling frustrated themselves or perhaps they are feeling anxious. If you can figure out what is causing the behavior, try responding to it. So, for example, if you believe the senior is trying to tell you they need to use the bathroom, take them to the bathroom.
Make it an Activity
If the older adult is repeating a behavior, try using the movement as part of an activity. If the older adult is rubbing the top of a table, give them a dust cloth so they can feel productive by helping clean the house. If they are worrying a piece of cloth, ask them to help fold towels.
Respond to Emotions
Determine the underlying emotion and respond to it. If the older adult seems anxious, find ways to soothe them. Reassure them that they are safe, and you are there to help them.
Offer a Distraction
Sometimes the best way to deal with repetition is to give the older adult something else to do. Distract them with an activity they enjoy, like doing a jigsaw puzzle or eating a favorite snack.
If your aging relative’s challenging behaviors are sometimes hard to handle, you may find it helpful to use elder care. An elder care agency can send a qualified professional caregiver to the older adult’s home to spend time with them and assist with their needs while you take a break. Elder care providers are experienced in dealing with difficult conditions like dementia and know strategies for responding to them.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering Elder Care in Boca Raton, FL, please contact the caring staff at MAZALTOV HOME CARE, LLC today at. (561) 465-5920