Alzheimer's caregivers: Dealing with repeated questions

content provided by mayoclinic.com

Alzheimer's caregivers: Dealing with repeated questions

Question

My mother-in-law has dementia and repeats the same questions over and over. What is the best way to respond?

No name
No state given

Answer

Repeating questions is a very common behavior in people with impaired memory. Some Alzheimer's caregivers cope with this problem by answering the question each time — recognizing that the interchange is simply a way for the confused person to seek reassurance. However, this requires tremendous patience.

Another technique to try: If your mother-in-law has retained her ability to read, write the answer to the repeated question on an index card. Give the index card to your mother-in-law, and when she repeats the question, tell her — in a very matter-of-fact tone — to check the index card. After a number of reminders, your mother-in-law may eventually learn to check the card to receive reassurance, instead of repeating the question to you.

Last Updated: 07/21/2006
© 1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. "Mayo," "Mayo Clinic," "MayoClinic.com," "Mayo Clinic Health Information," "Reliable information for a healthier life" and the triple-shield Mayo logo are trademarks of Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.

Terms and conditions of use

 

Bookmark and Share   E-Mail Page   Printer Friendly Version