A person with a form of dementia asks, “How did I get here?” An explanation is given. Less than 2 minutes later, “Do you know how I got here?” An explanation is given again. And there’s a good chance that question is asked again in just a few moments if the person isn’t distracted or redirected.
Repetitive speech is common in individuals with forms of dementia and is caused by the deterioration of brain cells from the disease. Understanding that this behavior is a result of the disease’s impact on the individual can help the Caregiver(s) have empathy and patience, as it can be exhausting to answer the same question or hear the same stories ad nauseam.
Repetitive speech plays a role for the individual with dementia, it can be a cue to others that they’re feeling anxious, insecure, or uncomfortable. Individuals with dementia are not always good reporters of what they’re feeling emotionally or physically. Their brain isn’t cooperating to provide correct information and responses to the stimuli around them. It’s important to help anticipate their needs in an effort of keeping them comfortable and safe.
When facing repetitive speech, provide an answer to the question being asked. Look for the reason for the behavior. It is helpful to find a way to distract them and provide a stimulating activity.
Keeping the hands and mind busy can help reduce the behavior.
As a community, we can help by being aware of the hurdles dementia creates. It helps to understand that filling the day with activity is difficult and tiring and makes it seem impossible for the Caregiver to accomplish tasks. Finding ways to provide support and respite for the Caregiver can give them what they need to keep providing the best care for their Loved One.
The Day Place is a community-engaged organization that understands and supports the needs of Individuals with Memory Disorders and their Caregivers! We provide respite, education, resources, and tools that help you live your best life. Let’s chat to see how we can help, 205-285-9245.
As seen in: Gardendale Health
Written by Angela Hammond
Licensed Masters Social Worker & The Day Place/Owner
Find it here: https://www.gardendalehealth.com/considering-advance-directives-for-loved-ones-with-dementia/