4 Ways to Respond to Repetitive Questions in Dementia

Respond in kind ways when someone with Alzheimer’s or dementia repeats the same thing over and over

People with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may repeat the same thing over and over

Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias cause problems with short-term memory.

This can lead to repetitive behaviors, like asking the same question or repeating the same things over and over, which can be a major source of stress for family caregivers.

Your older adult isn’t doing it on purpose to annoy you. They truly aren’t aware that they’re repeating themselves the second or twenty-third time.

But it’s challenging to respond to the repetitive questioning without eventually snapping or letting the frustration show in your voice

That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with kind techniques that change the subject or stop the flow of questions before you get too frustrated by a constant barrage of repetitive questions.

So the next time it starts, do your best to stay calm and use these 4 tips to respond in ways that help stop the behavior.

(And if you do lose your temper, it’s because you’re human. Forgive yourself and take a short break to help you remain patient.)


Why do people with dementia repeat themselves?

In addition to short-term memory loss, potential causes of repetitive questioning include stress, anxiety, frustration, discomfort, and fear.

A person with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is often unsure of what’s happening, where they are, or what time or day it is. Those are pretty unsettling feelings.

And if they’re feeling uncomfortable or in pain, they may not be able to clearly express their needs.

So when your older adult is repeating the same thing over and over, they’re not necessarily asking because they want an answer.

They may be asking because they’re feeling stressed or anxious and need reassurance or to have a physical need met.


4 ways to respond to repetitive questioning in dementia

1. Respond to the emotions rather than to the words

When your older adult starts to repeat something over and over, try to guess what feelings might be causing the behavior. 

For example, if you suspect they might be feeling anxious, giving a brief hug or hand squeeze while calmly responding may soothe them enough to stop their need to keep saying it.


2. Keep your answers brief

It’s tempting to answer a question from a person with Alzheimer’s disease with a common response you’d give to anybody else.

But in this case, keeping your response as short and simple as possible tends to work best. 

It saves time and energy and reduces your exasperation when you have to repeat yourself seven more times.


3. Distract with an activity

Sometimes the only way to get someone with dementia to stop the repetitive questioning is to distract them with something they enjoy.

That could mean offering a snack or favorite beverage. 

Or, you could ask a simple question to get them thinking about something else, like “The sun is shining today, isn’t it nice?”

Another idea is to ask them to help you with a simple task they’re still able to do, like folding laundry.


4. Escape for a few minutes

It’s tough to keep your cool and not snap at someone when you’ve heard the same thing for the twelfth time. 

We’re all human and everyone’s patience wears thin, especially if this isn’t the first time it’s happened today or if it’s been going on for weeks.

Sometimes you just need to leave the room for a few minutes to get a break. Do a quick calming exercise, get a breath of fresh air, or listen to your favorite song.

When you come back, you’ll have had a little time to cool off and will be better able to handle your older adult’s repetitive behavior with greater kindness.


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team

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  • Reply April 26, 2024


    Sister always want to know her location because her last home was three hours away, she is in her teens town where she graduated from but her childhood town, is unfortunately the name of her nursing home. How can I help her stop asking where she is. Other residents and staff are tired if it! She can not handle then yelling at her.

  • Reply March 14, 2022

    Alex Pa

    well post

  • Reply January 7, 2021


    I’m glad I found this website and have read similar experiences to mine. At 83 my mother was dropped on my doorstep by my father with 5 bags and completely disowned by him. I can’t forgive him for abandoning her like this but I can see the frustration of what he was dealing with. Its making me feel ill with stress and anxiety as the repetition all day long and having to repeat thing to her hundreds of times is just wearing. I will try some of the exercises you recommend as this is affecting my health. One thing that has made me very angry is that when she went for a dementia test with her GP 2 months ago, I asked to go into the room and witness the test (I have Lasting Power of Attorney). Before this I phoned the doctor to ask that when my mum goes for the test that he treats it delicately by not using the word ‘Dementia’ to her as she doesn’t really want to address this. On the day he refused to let me in to the test so I have no idea of the questions asked, and then afterwards he handed her the test form which had the words ‘Dementia’ all over it. He informed me that she passed the test and had no cognitive deficiency. I later questioned this as she clearly has exactly what you talk about here with endless repetition even asking the same thing 10 times in 10 minutes. He said if I disagree with his diagnosis then she can refer herself to another GP? How crazy is that when she doesn’t think anything is wrong. I then asked if he could send me the results of the test stating that he believes she is OK. The GP sent a letter to my mother which she read and it was a screen print from a computer of the history of this event and stated that I her son had asked that she was not informed that it was a dementia test, and that even after the result I still thought she had dementia.!!! As I say this was addressed to her and she read it !!

    • Reply January 7, 2021


      We’re so sorry to hear about all that has been happening with your mother and that your father just dropped this responsibility on you. We hope the suggestions in this article will be helpful in reducing the repetition.

      In case it’s helpful, we’ve also got more tips on managing other challenging dementia behaviors here – https://dailycaring.com/tag/challenging-dementia-behaviors/

      It’s unfortunate that the doctor didn’t handle the situation in a more sensitive way. Perhaps it would be a good idea to get a second opinion and find a different doctor who might show more compassion.

      And just in case they haven’t already been ruled out, there are treatable health conditions that could cause dementia-like symptoms. It would be good to rule those out as a cause for this type of behavior.

      More info here:
      – 7 Treatable Health Conditions with Dementia-Like Symptoms https://dailycaring.com/7-treatable-health-conditions-with-symptoms-similar-to-dementia/
      – 8 Treatable Diseases That Mimic Dementia https://dailycaring.com/8-treatable-diseases-that-mimic-dementia/

    • Reply March 1, 2021


      Dear Steve,
      We went through the same thing for years. My sister would leave for work in the middle of the night. Once whe showed up at midnight on Easter night for a doctor’s appointment. She was giving her money away to everyone. She called us every 5 minutes.
      Her doctor did the same thing. When my brother told him about it, he told my sister.
      Years later, when I just sat in his office and just stared at him, he begrudgingly asked her what was 100 minus 30. She insisted the answer was 30. Finally he took note but it was too late for her to make plans on her own. He has refused to tell her she has dementia. I think he is a “milk-toast” doctor and not around to help their patients when they need it most. We found another doctor who has been treating her dementia-related issues but none of us at this point see the need to tell her. Sometimes she doesn’t recognize us.

    • Reply July 28, 2021


      My sister is termanally ill. My mother who has dimentia lives with me, 14 hours from my sister and hasnt seen her in almost 2 years. How do we tell her? Or do we tell her at all?

  • Reply October 19, 2019


    My mother in law is 93 and she has Alzheimer’s/dementia she stays awake for 3 days and nights.. she constantly talks to people who aren’t there..she talks so much until her voice is hoarse..she hallucinates badly..she’s so tired but she will not stop talking..my daughter is her caregiver…Can you please give us some advice on what we should do..Thank you

  • Reply September 14, 2019

    Wendy Petersen

    My mom passed away 3 years ago, after many years of living with dementia. The repeating was the hardest thing I had to deal with. Most things I could manage, but even though I knew she couldn’t remember asking, it tried my patience on many occasions. I wish there had been somewhere like this when I was going through it. I think it is one of the loneliest and cruelest of diseases, especially for the caretakers. Thank you for what you are doing to help those out there dealing with these problems.

    • Reply September 14, 2019


      We’re so sorry for your loss 🙁 It’s wonderful that you were able to take such great care of your mom 💜

  • Reply June 14, 2019


    Of course the old are boring as we do not go to fun places due to a disability . Our friends too are past it, Most of them are in a worse place . If one happens to be more with it theirs none to exchange with ‘ If theirs travelling involved Yes one has been there and done that but again its our memories that are no longer relevant. Our yesterday is at a standstill. One can feel the attention of the other person shutting down as its all been heard before. Yes I know that this is not the reply one wants but Ce la vie

  • Reply April 27, 2019

    Kathleen Schreiber

    I have tried every thing to get my mom to shower. She has from what I’ve read 6th level alzheimers, and I’ve said, lets shower so we can go shopping, anything to get her in. We have remodeled the bathroom in warm colors, leave towels out she knows, and even te same soap. She is constantly yelling at me and I have the patience of a saint. I do however have my limits. Please any ideas?

    • Reply July 17, 2019


      I’m so sorry this has been such a challenge. It sounds like you’ve tried many of the things we often recommend.

      Another thing you could try is to hire someone to help her bathe. Some people feel more comfortable having a “stranger” help them rather than a family member.

      And just in case there are additional ideas you may not have tried yet, check out our article about bathing: 7 Tips to Get Someone with Alzheimer’s to Take a Bath https://dailycaring.com/7-tips-to-get-someone-with-alzheimers-to-take-a-bath/

    • Reply July 23, 2020


      I’ve experienced this. Think of it as a game and you have to be creative every time they need to shower. Make a daily routine and stick with it. Shower her whatever time of day she is in the best mood, try something that interests her like a new scented soap, bubbles, giving her a task like a sponge and asking her to clean the walls with soap then showering her while she is distracted. I know we want to just say you need a shower so we can go to the store, but sometimes you have to make up a crazy story to get them to do what needs to be done.. unfortunately, they dont remember the things we tell them, but it will help you both be less stressed.

  • Reply March 8, 2019


    dad’s the same way; he asks the same questions i.e. where’s my (late) mother over and over and over again, driving me nuts!! i keep on telling him that she’ll be back shortly but ignores me and repeats it. at least thrice he became violent and threatened to hit me as my reply wasn’t to his liking and late last night he did exactly that. i really am tempted to take him to an old folks home as all the meds and or sedatives he took didn’t do him any good; in fact his situation worsened and his mania increased.
    any suggestions??

  • Reply November 28, 2018


    Hello. I have the feeling my mother has a form of dimentia (has yet to be tested so I just suspect); she repeats the same stories in a short period of time and I just let her do so knowing it brings her happiness. However she also harps on the same topic such as where my daughter has gone to horse camp and insists it is the best (it is expensive and a good two days away). I am looking for horse camps closer to me but she will not let it go. This is not the first time she has done this; last summer she had the same behaviour with a small stuffy and a toothbrush. She kept harping on it and eventually we came by and got them. Turned out she was upset with my husband as they have different political views and she chose to harp on something small.

    Is there anything I can do to help her get through this? She is coming for Christmas with my sister and I am truly afraid of blowups. Can someone please write an article? Thanks!

    • Reply December 2, 2018


      I’m sorry this is happening. It can definitely be tough, especially during family gatherings. It sounds like a good way to handle her behavior is to validate her feelings, distract, and redirect to a more pleasant topic or activity.

      The suggestions in the article above may be helpful to redirect the conversation away from topics you’d rather not discuss. It’s not really about discussing the facts of the situation and convincing her of your logic. That typically doesn’t work with someone who has dementia.

      Here are some additional articles that might be helpful:
      — Answer 3 Tough Questions from Seniors with Alzheimer’s https://dailycaring.com/answer-tough-questions-from-seniors-with-alzheimers-expert-advice/
      — 7 Ways to Respond to Mean Dementia Behavior https://dailycaring.com/7-ways-to-respond-to-mean-dementia-behavior/
      — Our section on Alzheimer’s & Dementia Challenging Behavior https://dailycaring.com/tag/challenging-dementia-behaviors/

    • Reply January 15, 2019


      My sister is age 67, and has been diagnosed with the catch-all dementia. She has had recurrent Infections associated acute interstitial nephritis; and this time she contracted Klebsiella which led to sepsis. She was discharged from the hospital to a skilled transitional care facility. I went with her to her post hospital primary care visit. Her PCP, I felt was out of line. He first conveyed he did not know why she was there and I told him it was for a post hospital stay follow up. He finally found her discharge summary and we went over her treatment plan. He stated that my sister had dementia and that he could discuss her treatment plan with her but in a few minutes she would not remember what was discussed. He the looked at her and stated, “you still have your own power of attorney, do you want to just stop your treatment at this point?” I felt that was a completely oxymoron on his part. How could even think that was legal. He just stated that she would remember when he discussed with her and yet he was wanting her to sign a document that would basically enable her to die because he obviously felt her life was not important.

      • Reply January 15, 2019


        I’m so sorry to hear this! What your sister’s doctor has said sounds very inappropriate and doesn’t give your sister the quality of medical care she needs. I would strongly urge you to help your sister find a different doctor, preferably one who has experience with patients who have dementia. If there are any in your area, a geriatric doctor (geriatrician) may be helpful since they’re more likely to have experience with dementia or other cognitive issues.

        I’d also strongly suggest that you think about her essential legal documents, like financial and medical powers or attorney, advanced directive (living will), trust or estate plan, etc. If your sister isn’t able to manage her own financial, medical, and legal decisions, she’ll need help from a trusted person — either you or another trusted person.

  • Reply October 5, 2018

    Molly Grobler

    A very short version of my problem.
    My mother keep on asking me do I know where her mother’s grave is I will tell her and then she will say she wants to go there to put flowers on and why did I not tell her that she died and then she want to go there – she will walk if I will not take her. She cries each and every time we have this questions numerous times>> It is in another town, 6 hours from where we are now!!! . She was at the funeral, she knows where the grave was but cant remember anything. I am about to loose it completely. The other continues questions does not bother me that much but his grave story is to much for me to handle!!!!!!
    Molly Grobler, South Africa

    • Reply October 7, 2018


      This is definitely a tough situation and happens often with people who have Alzheimer’s or dementia. Your mother may or may not mean what she’s saying literally. Sometimes, people with dementia have trouble communicating and you need to play detective a bit to get to the root of what they’re trying to tell you. Sometimes, it’s more about the emotion rather than the exact words.

      When she brings up the topic, instead of directly answering her question, you may want to try asking her open-ended questions about her mother. Doing this helps to start a conversation. During this conversation, you may find that what she’s really asking for is additional comfort or that she wants to recall some pleasant memories of her mother. For example, you could ask things like “”tell me about your mother”” or “”what did you and your mother used to do together.”” You could bring out a photo book and let her look at photos of her and her mother and encourage her to talk about how she feels or share whatever memories happen to come up.

      There’s no perfect answer and nothing that will work 100% of the time, but what’s important is to try different responses to see what works best.

      We’ve also got an article about answering frequently repeated questions that may help reduce frustrations — https://dailycaring.com/4-ways-to-respond-when-someone-with-alzheimers-keeps-repeating-questions/

  • Reply September 28, 2018

    H. Chiles

    My 92 y/o father was diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago and is now wheelchair bound. He has become hateful and mean and curses to those who are working to help him in his facility. He has also developed unusual habits of not wanting to change clothes after a few days, also hording toilet paper and paper napkins. How do I handle this?

  • Reply July 21, 2018

    Sue W

    My 88 year old mother has dementia and is currently in a hospital awaiting a spot in a long term care facility, my 88 year old father can no longer care for her. She calls me day and night, always asking the same thing….when are you coming to get me, I want out of here.
    The week before she was admitted to hospital she was calling Day and night for me to go pick her up from her apartment because she didn’t like it there either.
    I don’t know what to answer anymore, she cannot be released but won’t accept it…..help please!

    • Reply July 24, 2018


      I’m so sorry that you and your mother are going through this. It can definitely be a challenging question to answer.

      We’ve got some suggestions for how to handle it here — 3 Ways to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Says I Want to Go Home and some possible explanations to help you understand why she might be saying it (she may not mean it literally) here — Why Someone with Alzheimer’s Says I Want to Go Home

      Our website category on dementia communication techniques might also be helpful — http://dailycaring.com/tag/alzheimers-dementia-communication/

  • Reply November 10, 2017


    My grandma is 95 years old now. She’s had dementia for 5-6 years. I am extremely understanding and patient. I know she can’t help it and I understand that there is nothing we can do about it because she can’t learn or change her behaviors anymore. But now her dementia has progressed to the point that none of these techniques work anymore (aside from keeping answers brief, but she repeats questions back to back without any time between so it doesn’t even matter anymore).

    My grandma doesn’t respond to any non-verbal communication if she asks a question. I used to be able to nod, or hold her hand if it was something of concern but she no longer responds to these. In order for her to accept any answer I have to look directly at her and answer verbally.

    My grandma becomes fixated on certain questions and gets stuck in loops. When this happens she won’t watch TV, read the newspaper, or do chores (things that used to work). She becomes hellbent on getting these questions answered, and trying to move the conversation to something else doesn’t work.

    My grandma’s short term memory is also basically non-existent. If I’m not in her line of sight she doesn’t know I’m home and because she also suffers from paranoia from her dementia she will get very nervous and start looking for me, yelling, and opening the doors (including the front door) almost immediately. I can’t take time away from her at all, even to nap or shower.

    Is there anything else we can try or other methods to cope with? We want to put off sending her to a care facility for as long as possible, but her behavior has become so severe it’s starting to make my entire family feel incredibly stressed and suffocated.

  • Reply November 4, 2017


    My mom had dementia for several years (possibly longer). I find that turn on TV and have her to watch Joel Osteen repeatedly or several hours in a row (I recorded it) because he can calms her and she likes that he talks about positive and tell the jokes and Billy Graham Crusades from old days and some old movies that she recognizes some actors and actresses from her old days when she lived in Chicago. And I find that sometimes I read the bible verses and sing some hymns songs that she recognizes and remember it at her bedtime and it calms her. One thing what she drives me nuts is asking repeatedly about my dogs even they were in front of her or no matter what!! It didn’t occur to me that I have to assure her by touching her when she worries about not able to find me again or whatever it bothers her. I noticed that she has another problem is sunset syndromes in Spring and Fall this started not until after my father died six years ago.

  • Reply August 18, 2017


    My mother in law (almost wedding is tomorrow) has demnetia. I made the mistake of telling her ahead of time about her son and I upcoming nuptials. Now she keeps asking over and over (for over 4 hours) about what she to wear what about the animals, does she need to change etc….. I have done all of the above repeated but she wont stop. I cant stay away from her for to long because she will get into things. My wedding is tomorrow and I am exhasted. Her other son will take her for the night which I am grateful for. But this is just one day…we (my hubby to be and I)do this e eryday and are exhausted. I feel like I no longer have the tools to deal with her.

    • Reply August 19, 2017


      Congratulations on your wedding! I hope you had a lovely day ❤ The behaviors you mention are unfortunately common among people with dementia. The first step is to understand why they’re happening so you can better manage and reduce them. Because someone with dementia is no longer able to learn or adapt, we have to change the way we behave in order to minimize these types of behaviors.

      When someone has dementia, they can lose the ability to understand the passage of time. That’s why she keeps asking about the wedding and what she needs to do to prepare. Knowing that it’s tomorrow doesn’t mean anything to her. She is responding to the fact that there is something very important that she wants to be sure not to miss. In the future, it’s helpful to not talk about future events until you’re ready for the person to start acting upon it. For example, if the family is getting together for dinner next Wednesday, don’t tell your mother-in-law right now. On Wednesday evening, when its nearing time to leave for dinner, tell her that you’re all going to dinner together. That way, you can prompt her to use the bathroom and put on shoes/jacket, etc. so that you can leave the house. Telling her about it days beforehand is going to make her fixate on it, get anxious, and talk about it until it happens.

      Repetitive behaviors and rummaging (searching through things) are also common dementia behaviors. We’ve got more info and suggestions for how to handle them here:

      It’s also helpful to learn about the stages of dementia and what symptoms you may expect to see — http://dailycaring.com/3-stages-of-dementia-what-to-expect/

      Getting her involved in activities that make her feel successful are a great way to help her feel good and keep her safely occupied. It can take some experimenting to find the right activities for her ability level and preferences, so we’ve got a lot of suggestions — http://dailycaring.com/tag/alzheimers-dementia-activities/

      We’ve got an extensive section of information about various dementia symptoms and suggestions for how to handle them — http://dailycaring.com/category/health-conditions/alzheimers-dementia/

      I’d also suggest contacting the Alzheimer’s Association to see if there are local resources or in-persona caregiver support groups. Call their 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900

      You may also find online caregiver support groups helpful. They’re a wonderful source of support and a great way to vent frustrations and get advice 24/7 from fellow caregivers who understand what you’re going through. Here are some of our favorite free, private Facebook groups, many are specifically for dementia caregivers — http://dailycaring.com/11-caregiver-support-groups-on-facebook-youll-want-to-join/

  • Reply June 20, 2017


    I’m pretty sure my mother doesn’t have Alzheimer’s but still has some “annoying” behaviors, I’m sure due to her circumstances. She is 83, in a wheelchair or can walk with assistance using a walker. She used to be able to take care of the house and yard but is down to only cleaning the top of the stove as she is scared of falling again (she fell and broke her hip/femur getting out of bed to go to the bathroom at 3 in the morning – I think her legs had gone to sleep as she says there was no feeling in them). The rod they put in her leg is causing her to walk very crooked and causing pain. She lets us know every 10 minutes or so. She tells every one she can get to listen that she “hasn’t had her surgery yet” which makes me look bad – she is not getting any surgery that I know of. She gets agitated and angry at my kids all day long while I’m at work, and they are doing the best they can to keep the house and yard up (not to her liking though). It is challenging, and my relatives have called Adult protective services on us a few times because she tells them we are failing in her care, which is not true. Any suggestions you have would be helpful in how to deal with this.

    • Reply June 20, 2017


      I’m so sorry this is happening. Based on her behaviors, it sounds like your mom has experienced some cognitive impairment. You may want to have her doctor do a thorough examination to see if there is a treatable cause (like UTI) or if it could be caused by delirium or dementia. Her behavior could also be caused by medication side effects.

      Here are articles that explain what each of those things are:

      It also sounds like her pain isn’t being managed well enough. That’s a big factor in behavior as well. When someone is in constant pain, they aren’t likely to be “themselves.” This is something you could talk to her doctor about. She may need different pain medications or physical therapy to rebuild necessary muscles.

      It might also be helpful for you and your kids to learn about handling dementia behaviors. Responding in ways we’re used to with people who don’t have cognitive issues probably isn’t working well. Here’s more information on responding to and reducing dementia behaviors: http://dailycaring.com/tag/difficult-behaviors/

      • Reply June 23, 2017

        Geri Brandon

        Hi Susan! 1st, as someone who is in the same boat, I’d encourage you to be kind to yourself today. See the sun, hear the birds, or just enjoy the sound of rain. I know it sounds hokey, but joy is ours to have.

        Having said that…the advice on UTIs is real, and no indication of lack of care. The Dr. can help with that, but to keep them at bay, you’ll have to keep Mom hydrated. Water does wonders! After 3 months, my Mom was off 4 meds, pressure normalized, mood much more mellow. Talk to her Dr. about a combo of Calcium/magnesium with electrolytes, omega3, and vitamin D3, with lots of fluids. Most Drs. are quick to write perscriptions [maybe that’s why they call it Medicine], but overlook the simplest possibilities of nutrition and hydration.
        There may be more diapers, but you can reduce the nigh time bathroom visits by getting the fluids in earlier in the day, and use the electrolyte frozen pops as a P.M. treat. My Mom is almost 93, and her Drs. are bragging about her to their patients 30 years her junior.

        On her “pain”, try to imagine how it feels to not be in control anymore, to have the world passing you by, to have to call someone to get attention. More than likely, Mom knows who “butters her bread”, and wouldn’t trade you for the world; and those “relatives” who rush to call someone miss the point that what she really wants is for them to invest sometime with her. You, like me, could use the break! When they won’t give you one, give yourself permission to take it!

        Please give your kids extra hugs for their help, it will be hard for them not to hug you back. I know it’s hard to cuddle a porcupine, but give your Mom an extra kiss. And those “relatives”, thank them for all their help! They’ll get the message, and you’ll get a laugh!

        As for me..I’ll leave the clinical to the clinicians. After my Dad’s three strokes, and the 20 years of Alzheimer’s, and now Mom..I have become an expert in surrender, and have a Masters in self affirmation. Solutions to challenges are daily victories-counted as blessings. I try to keep myself so I like what I see in the mirror, and give myself a “thumbs up”, an “atta girl!”, or a “job well done”.

        This job is like none you’ve ever had. It will take a ton of love, and a
        grain of salt. Over time, she may forget lots of things, but she will always remember she’s the “MOM”. Above all, respect yourself for the “awsome girl” you are, because you really care! Love, G

        • Reply June 23, 2017


          Thank you Geri for sharing such wonderful tips with Susan (and our community)! Your kindness, compassion, and experience really shine through 💜💜

  • Reply April 29, 2017

    Fanie Naude

    I am a firstimer with no experience.Is there an y medication on the market to slow down deterioration of the brain

    • Reply April 29, 2017


      It’s hard to say. There are currently no cures for any dementia. Some treatments may improve symptoms or slow the progression of cognitive decline. But the effectiveness depends on the person and on the type of dementia they have. Different medications could be used for different types of dementia, but medication may not be available for all types. This article about Alzheimer’s medications has more information specifically about Alzheimer’s — http://dailycaring.com/5-fda-approved-medications-for-alzheimers-treatment/

  • Reply January 23, 2017

    Sheila Roney

    My husband repeats the same thing, sometimes every minute. “Can I have something to eat?” “Can I have some pop?” I know it isn’t because he’s hungry or thirsty, because he will ask this while he’s eating or drinking. What is the best way to respond? Tell him he just ate or he’s eating now. A simple yes or no. Soon. Or something completely unrelated, like I love you or Are you warm enough.

    • Reply January 23, 2017


      I’m sorry that you’re going through this, it can’t be easy. You may need to test out different responses to see how effective they are. For example, you could try letting him know that he just ate and see what happens. If that works, great! It’s one that you can add to your collection of responses. Keep in mind that one type of response won’t work every time so it’s good to have many options to use.

      You could also try something like asking him about what he’s thinking of eating, talking about it a little bit, and then gradually leading the conversation to a different topic. Or if it’s a drink, talk about how a soda is refreshing and have some conversation about it before subtly changing the subject (like soda –> drinking soda at a baseball game –> baseball games in general). The idea is to get his mind away from fixating on that one idea. Hugs and kind, loving words are always great things to try too 🙂

      Sometimes, it’s possible that he could actually be asking to go to the bathroom when he asks for food or drink, sometimes the words can get scrambled as they make their way from the brain to the mouth. You could say “Sure, I’ll get you something to eat. Let’s go to the bathroom first.” Or, you could make a simple chart for the daily meals that you can mark with a big X after he eats. Having a visual cue that he’s already eaten could help.

      Everybody is different, so it takes some experimenting to find out which methods will work best with your husband.

  • Reply January 2, 2017


    My mother also is in the setting stages and I find that putting on her favorite movie helps, and also trying to offer assurance through reinforcement and encouragement of the repetitive behavior ….bathroom, eating, ECT. Are signs of the demenishing ability to perform these functions. And realizing this early changes the scope of assistance and guidance for your loved one and you. Hopefully making a more pleasant experience for everyone involved. Try to gather as much comparative information,

    • Reply January 3, 2017


      Thanks for sharing Audra! These are great tips.

  • Reply November 11, 2016


    I also use the pictures on my phone to have conversations with my mom. It works very well.

    • Reply November 11, 2016


      That’s a great way to respond and help her focus on other things!

  • Reply November 8, 2016

    Al Cat

    My life is a messed up place . My wife can’t stop reaping things . Ind I can’t stop drinking . All cat

    • Reply November 9, 2016


      I’m so sorry to hear this. Please know that she’s not doing it on purpose. Her brain is no longer able to function normally and is causing her to repeat things. It’s a frustrating behavior, but I hope these suggestions can help you cope a little bit. Sometimes, it might help to just leave the room for a bit. That gives you a chance to reset and to stop hearing the questions for a bit. For more support, please contact the Alzheimer’s Association through their 24/7 Helpline at 1-800-272-3900.

      Drinking may bring some very temporary relief, but in the long term, please try different methods of coping with the difficult behaviors caused by dementia. Support groups are a fantastic way to vent frustrations and get tips and advice from others in similar situation. Alzheimer’s Association should have support groups in your area. If it’s tough to get to an in-person group, I highly recommend the Memory People Closed Group on Facebook. The group is completely private and wonderfully supportive. Get more info and find out how to join here — http://dailycaring.com/alzheimers-support-group-on-facebook-memory-people/

      • Reply January 8, 2017

        Al Cat

        I go in the garage and she follows me . bathroom bastment . I’m hanging on . trying to understand

        • Reply January 9, 2017


          Hi Al — Having your older adult “shadow” is an understandably frustrating situation. This is a common behavior and is usually caused by anxiety or fear. Because their world has become so confusing, they cling to the one thing that makes them feel safe — you. But of course, you need space and time for yourself. We’ve written an article with some helpful tips about managing shadowing behavior. See it here — http://dailycaring.com/alzheimers-and-fear-of-being-alone-5-ways-for-caregivers-to-cope/

    • Reply December 23, 2016

      Al Cat

      Thank you . I stopped drinking 40 days now got in trouble at work . in cousling

      • Reply December 23, 2016


        I’m so glad you’re getting some help and support <3 This is a tough situation and you're doing great.

  • Reply November 7, 2016

    Murray Nitchke

    As much as these comments sound helpful, I have to deal with my wife’s dementia which includes the constant questions, fears,etc. She paces all over the house asking where’s my husband? Of course I am usually in the same room and she doesn’t even see me, recognize me, until I ask her to look at me. Most of her Q’s then take the form of: I want to go home, please help me, what do I do now?,I want to leave, take me home, where are my people? And on and on and on all day every day.

    • Reply November 7, 2016


      Hi Murray — I’m sorry to hear about your wife’s fears and the challenges you face in managing them. Dementia can be a very frightening experience for the person who has it. This causes behavior that’s frustrating to people close to them. It’s possible that your wife needs more reassurance to feel safe and secure. We’ve got an article that gives suggestions on what to say when someone repeatedly asks to go home — http://dailycaring.com/3-ways-to-respond-when-someone-with-alzheimers-says-i-want-to-go-home/

  • Reply September 4, 2016


    I find it helpful if I respond to the question as if it the first time I have heard it.

    • Reply September 4, 2016

      Connie Chow

      That’s great that you’re able to do that! I’m sure your senior feels good about it <3

  • Reply March 2, 2016


    When my mom had Alzhimers, I felt I grew as a person. As she was changing, I needed to as well. I miss even those hard days. It was a sweet time of loving

    • Reply March 2, 2016

      Connie Chow

      Hi Ginny, thank you for sharing such a lovely story! I agree that we definitely change and grow when we care for another person. Best, Connie

  • Reply January 25, 2016

    Marjorie Haas, LCSW

    Another idea behind the ‘repetitive questions’ and repetitive stories is that people with memory loss are looking for relationship through conversation. They have few areas of interest that they remember, so they lock onto one and engage their caregiver by sticking to it. Engage in a conversation that you (the caregiver) might enjoy and that will allow escape and distraction. I have found endless areas on conversational engagement with pictures on my phone.

    • Reply January 25, 2016

      Connie Chow

      That makes so much sense! Thank you Marjorie, this is a helpful tip. Looking at favorite photos together is a wonderful activity.

  • Reply December 30, 2015

    Bill Hutchens

    Good ideas -many thanks!

    • Reply December 30, 2015

      Connie Chow

      Thank you, Bill! Glad these were helpful!

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