How to respond when someone with Alzheimer's asks a question repeatedly

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Posted Oct 28th, 2019 in Alzheimer's & Other Dementias

How to respond when someone with Alzheimer's asks a question repeatedly

People with Alzheimer’s or other dementias have difficulty understanding what’s happening around them or where they are. Repetitive behaviors such as asking the same questions can be their way of showing that they’re feeling stressed or anxious and need reassurance, not that they need the information.

1. Respond to emotions, not words
When a person with Alzheimer's constantly repeats a question, try to find out what motivates that behavior. If your loved ones are restless, give him/ her a brief hug or handshake while calmly trying to answer the question; this might help reassure them.

2. Answer briefly
The shorter and simpler your answer, the better. It will save you time and energy and reduce your stress when you must repeat the answer multiple.

3. Distract you with an activity
Sometimes the only way to get the person to stop repeating a question is to distract them with something they like. Offer a favorite snack or drink, or ask them to help you with some easy activity, just try to get them to think about something else

4. Take a time-out
Try to remain calm and not lose patience when the same question is repeated day after day. Sometimes you will just have to leave the room for a minute or two, take a deep breath and give yourself your time.

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