My 88-year-old mother repeats herself incessantly.

Started by

My mother repeats herself, often asking the same question repeatedly up to (20) times in as little as a half hour. When I gently mention it to her and ask if she wants me to help her remember by repeating the answer back to me or writing it down, she becoms angry or hurt or both. She either denys it or says I am just trying to hurt her feelings. I feel like I am trying to help her but her consistenly negative reaction makes me question my actions. Would it be better for all concerned just to simply answer the question repeatedly.

6 Comments

You are trying to help her, and failing miserably. LOL ... our parents didn't get operator manuals when they raised us, and we aren't issued manuals in caring for them when they reach old age. But the Internet at least gives us resources for learning how to handle common problems.

It would definitely be better for all concerned just to simply answer the question repeatedly.

Is your mother showing other signs of memory loss or dementia?
She's occasionally generally confused, but the repitition is the main sympton.
I think I'll just start answering the questions as many times as she asks them ......... no problem.......thank you !
You may also try redirecting.. like, Mom isn't the sunset beautiful, or would you like some fresh fruit, now these are only suggestions of course... but sometimes , redirecting helps, sometimes only for a little while, but it gives you a break....
Just come up with somet things she might be interested in, and do you mind me asking what she repeats? Does she do this at the same time everyday, or close to the same time?
I've tried redirecting with limited success. I really don't mind answering repeatedly. I thought I was helping her by bringing the repetition to her attention. But she dislikes it so intensly that it looks now like it's more aggrivating than helpful. Time is mostly random, but slightly more later in the day. The types of questions are all ove the map. Today she kept asking if I still had a workshop at my house. The week before I had told her about a project I was doing in my workshop. I'm sure expereincing mental deterioation is stressful for her. I try to make her laugh as much as possible.
That is a statement to your patience and love that you don't mind answering the questions, regardless of how many times she asks... you do what I do, just go to their world, they no longer live in ours.... and many will share with you that the evening is when these things happen. You may already know it is called Sundowning... This is when S starts pacing, getting a little more agitated, rearranging things on tables and the mantle... as long as it is not harmful to him, I just let him go.... He worked hard all his life, so if rearranging things helps him to feel something that eases him out.... I let him go for it..
And the laughter is priceless... I can usually get S to laugh too....this is a hard disease to watch and be a part of and I applaude you for having the insight to know how hard this is on her...... S can wake up from a nap and be so lost..... this is a time it breaks my heart, to see the fear on his face....but we set down, I hold his hand, and I try to talk about different things until something 'catches' and he gets his mind off his fear....
You are a loving son, and that speaks volumes of the lady who raised you... hugs to you...
Thanks but, I'm just the "B" team, my sister is doing the heavy lifting. I couldn't carry her lunch on my best day !

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support