Repetition from a loved one who has dementia can be extremely frustrating to manage. Your loved one may not be able to tell you verbally what’s going on. As you learn more about your loved one’s behavior, you may be able to spot what exactly her restlessness means. Keeping your reactions positive and loving can make a big difference, though.
Make Sure You’re Not Overlooking Something Simple
Repetition with dementia sufferers can be a sign that there’s a basic need that your loved one is having difficulty fulfilling. Check to make sure that she’s been to the bathroom, that she’s eaten, and that she’s okay in other basic respects. From there, you may need to do a little guesswork.
Use Distraction Gently
Distracting your loved one in as gentle a manner as possible can help to refocus her on what’s going on around her. Your loved one might enjoy talking about family memories, for example, or she might enjoy helping you with something else. The key is to remove her attention from what she’s focusing on and place it in a new area that isn’t repetitive.
Household Tasks Can Help
Oddly enough, helping out with household tasks can actually be something that works well for your loved one when she’s stuck in a repetitive loop. Folding laundry is something that’s simple enough to do and it can refocus your loved one’s attention. Try giving your loved one simple laundry to fold, such as washcloths. They’re small enough to handle easily but they require a little bit of concentration.
Change the Topic
If the repetitive action is a question or a statement, getting your loved one talking about something else can be the right move. Try asking her questions about her day or about activities that she enjoys. If you can move your loved one onto something else, that can be all that’s needed.
Exercise May Be an Option
For some people with dementia, a buildup of excess energy can lead to repetitive actions or behavior. Talk with her doctor and make sure that exercise is alright for your loved one. From there, try taking a short walk with your loved one and see if that helps to resolve the situation.
Having elderly care providers who have experience with dementia can help you learn how to deal with repetition from your loved one. Managing the behavior kindly every time can help your loved one keep calm.