It’s hard to practice patience when you are a caregiver for a person with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.
Why does a person with dementia ask the same question repeatedly? The answer is actually pretty straightforward. The hallmark symptom of Alzheimer’s disease is short-term forgetfulness and most of the other dementias also impact memory.
The underlying cause of your loved one's behaviour most likely is anxiety. Although it is very tempting, it usually doesn’t help to repeatedly explain the facts to this person, correct him or her, or become impatient. In fact, losing your own cool may simply add fuel to the fire and cause other behaviours that are challenging such as agitation or anger.
Here are some ideas for addressing your loved one's anxiety and coping with the repetition:
These techniques may save the day at times, but they don’t always work. Sometimes you simply have to hold your loved one’s hand, give a big hug, assure them that all is well and then take a deep breath if the questions continue. Trying to keep your sense of humour is important along with recognising that the behaviour is caused by the person’s medical condition - Alzheimer's and dementia are a handful for everyone.
If you truly find yourself losing patience and getting angry and upset, this may be a sign that it is time to get some help. Home Instead Senior Care offers FREE Dementia CARE education workshops for family carers. The workshops teach practical techniques to manage difficult behaviours, keep your loved one's mind engaged and at the same time look after yourself. REGISTER for a FREE place TODAY.
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