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Caregiver Training: Repetitive Questions | UCLA Alzheimer's and Dementia Care Program

crema asks the same questions 50 times a

day

what time is it and what are we doing I

get so frustrated because even after I

answer the question she'll ask the same

thing again a minute later

it's driving me crazy what time is the

play six o'clock click and music almost

5:00 what can I miss the party weren't

you listening to me I answered that two

minutes ago

the party's at 6:00 stop bothering me I

need to finish wrapping her the gift

repetitive questions are a common

behavior in those with dementia many

families find themselves at a loss for a

solution and become frustrated with this

behavior repetitive questions are often

triggered by anxiety caused by memory

loss the best approach is to reduce

these triggers and focus on alleviating

anxiety and uncertainty as disease

progresses people with dementia lose the

ability to remember what they have just

said or done sometimes it is their

inability to express a need or emotion

what time is the priority let's find out

together so let's look at this afternoon

schedule four o'clock was nap time we

already finished that and five o'clock

which is now we'll get dressed and then

six o'clock is Jane's birthday party

how about you help me sign her card how

does that sound

okay people with dementia are sometimes

unable to verbally express their needs

it can be useful to look behind the

questions to see whether the person

needs some reassurance or attention here

are some tips on how to modify

repetitive questions and alleviate

anxiety and frustration try using a tool

like a dry erase board to help keep

track of our daily schedule make sure to

keep it in a place where she will see it

often such as the kitchen or living room

use capital letters and neat writing so

it's easy for her to read it may take a

while to get your loved one to check the

board but it can have a considerable

effect on her level of anxiety avoid

mentioning an upcoming event or

appointment until it's time to get ready

for it be patient if she senses your

annoyance she might pick up on this

emotion and become anxious or agitated

be well prepared if you need to be

somewhere get yourself ready ahead of

time so that you may focus your

attention on helping your loved one

avoid visual cues that can trigger the

questioning like a birthday present or

purses and keys by the door do not rush

your loved one for appointments allow

plenty of time for her to prepare for

whatever activity is on the schedule

you