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Why Do Seniors with Dementia Exhibit Repetitive Behaviors?

Repetition is one of the most challenging behavioral issues seniors with dementia experience. As a family caregiver, answering the same questions or repeating things over and over can be stressful. It is important to remember your loved one is not at fault.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Westfield Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Here are some of the reasons why seniors with dementia exhibit repetitive behavior.

Deterioration of Brain Cells 

Dementia has a negative effect on the brain, causing a decrease in a senior’s ability to make sense of words, phrases, people, and the world in general. Your loved one could ask a question over and over because he or she simply doesn’t understand something. To help your senior loved one, you need to focus on emotions and not the behavior. Try to understand what your loved one is feeling. It is stressful for him or her not to understand your answers. 

Communication Issues

Your senior loved one may have difficulty explaining something to you, so he or she may share a story repeatedly. You should allow your loved one to share the event with you and observe his or her behavior throughout the storytelling activity. Look for any triggers while he or she is explaining the event. Determine if your loved one expresses a certain emotion when thinking about the event or situation. If you notice any signs of stress or anxiety, develop a strategy to help ease his or her mind. The repetition could occur at a specific time of day, or when certain individuals are around. Your senior loved one may be trying to communicate something to you.

Uncomfortable Surroundings 

Being in a familiar setting is the best way to keep seniors with dementia calm. Your loved one will feel a sense of comfort being surrounded by his or her personal items. However, new surroundings or abrupt changes in the home or day-to-day activities could confuse your senior loved one and lead to repetition. To manage this symptom, reassure your loved one with a gentle touch or calm voice. Refrain from making drastic changes to his or her schedule. If you move furniture around or buy new things, you will need to do it gradually. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be overwhelming at times. Westfield respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

Impaired Memory 

Dementia can cause issues with your senior loved one’s short-term memory, which could lead to repetitive behavior. Remember your loved one is not asking the same questions to annoy you. He or she truly has no memory of asking the question at all. You will need to accept this behavior and learn how to work with it. Provide an answer and use memory aids such as notes, photographs, and other objects that are still meaningful to him or her. The memory aids could cut down on the repetition and actually answer some of your loved one’s questions. This could also help you remain patient and less annoyed.

Aging in place can present a few challenges for seniors living with dementia. However, they can still live independently at home with the help of professional in-home dementia care. Westfield, NJ, families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide their elderly loved ones with mental and social stimulation, timely medication reminders, assistance with meal prep, and much more. Our caregivers are available around the clock to help your loved one live a happier and healthier life. Create a dementia care plan for your senior loved one by calling us at 908.450.9400 today.