There is a common misunderstanding that older people are somehow not as wise or quick-witted as they once were. While some level of mental decline is undeniable, most seniors remain well-equipped and intelligent. While age and genetics can lead to potential risks with degenerative conditions, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, those affected by such conditions do not represent the whole.
Why Do Elderly People Start Repeating Themselves
Part of aging is reflecting on personal history and finding meaning in the past. Everyone wants to find purpose and legacy in their lives, and older seniors are no different.
Age provides wisdom and a plethora of memories to sort through. It is not uncommon for older people to reflect on the same few impactful stories to derive new meaning or lessons about themselves and the world.
Many seniors use memory as a teaching tool for younger people, expressing regret or lessons learned from an experienced perspective. Unfortunately, young people tend to ignore or not heed the advice, which can also lead to the reciting of a similar or identical tale over-and-over again.
These examples of repetition are typical and should not be cause for concern. However, when repetition reaches the level of interfering with daily schedules or routine activities, it may be a sign of a more severe issue, such as dementia.
What Are the Signs of Dementia
The loss of cognitive functioning and behavioral abilities is referred to as dementia. It is not considered a normal part of aging, but it does affect nearly half of all people age 85 and older. The condition ranges in severity, and those with extremely mild forms can still live relatively everyday lives with limited intervention. However, severe cases often require skilled senior living medical professionals’ aid because sufferers lose all ability to function on their own.
Catching the condition early can provide patients with the time needed to come to terms and prepare for future struggles. There are several warning signs of dementia that family and friends should be aware of, especially when living with an at-risk individual.
- Memory loss
- Verbal repetition
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Difficulty completing familiar tasks
What To Look For
It can help to look for more specific signs or patterns of behavior for concerned partners or spouses. There are several common symptoms of early dementia that your loved one may be exhibiting. For example:
- Struggling to find the right words
- Forgetting where they put something
- Struggling to remember why they entered a room or started a conversation
- Lacking interest in hobbies or routine activities
- Struggling to follow conversations
- Failing sense of direction
- Fearing new experiences
Keep in mind that everyone can display these symptoms occasionally. The key is to watch for repetitive and routine behavior changes, indicating a change in personality and focus.
How Can Caregivers Handle Situations of Repetition
One of the most common dementia and Alzheimer’s symptoms is the repetition of questions, words, or phrases. While the repeating can become tiresome for many caregivers, educating yourself is key to becoming tolerant.
People suffering from these conditions do not repeat themselves to frustrate or abuse you. They cannot remember asking or telling you something, and in some circumstances, the repetition is a soothing behavior; it calms them down when they feel anxious or afraid. Understanding this makes it easier for caregivers to deal with repeated questions or statements, but some techniques can help break the cycle.
Validation is an excellent tool for statements or questions. You do not correct the person; you agree with them, helping them remain calm. In most instances, being agreeable ends the repetition.
Distraction is another technique. If your loved one is anxious and caught in negative thoughts, try to distract them with an activity or another conversation, focus on the things they enjoy.
Patience and understanding are the most powerful tools a caregiver has. It is difficult caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s, but the key is not to take anything personally. Showing compassion and respect for the individual can help both the patient and the caregiver.
Best Course of Action for Caregivers and Patients
Professional guidance and looking for memory care facilities is the best course of action for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is crucial to understand your limitations and recognize the needs of your loved one.
Caring Places Management provides memory care support with access to high-quality care for dementia patients. Caring Places Management is an excellent resource for those looking to transition their loved ones into a more capable facility.