What can you do when you find yourself repeating everything you say to your parent with dementia?

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My mom has dementia and some other health issues, and over period of time things have just got worse and worse. She is extremely forgetful, and I have to repeat myself all the time. Are their any technicques I could use to not have to repeat the same thing over and over or explainining the same thing. Sometimes it just doesn't seem to matter what I do She isn't listening or just doesn't get it. It is so very frustrating so any ideas or tips would be great.
Another problem I have with my mom sometimes is she is always wantiing to make doctors appts. and then she calls them multiple times as well cause she doesn't write time or date down. How can I get on a routine for Drs appts? I would take her like every few months for check up, but she honestly has a new medical complaint every other day. Could it just all be in her mind? I have never seen anyone with so many different medical issues, all the time.
How frustrating it all can be sometimes, but I do relize that you have to step back from things and get fresh air. It will be a new day, maybe new drama and issues, but a new day, none the less!! KellyB:))

Answers 1 to 10 of 12
My late husband was adicted to going to see his many docters-I finally had to say he could not go so often as he was deciding to make an appointment for a doc we had just left-because he had not asked her everything. Do you live with her? My sister stopped taking my Mom to so many doc visits. Maybe you could take her every 4 months to just her primary and when complaints come up say to her you will check that out with her docter on the next visit.
Top Answer
I wouldn't say her medical conditions are in her head. As stated before, you said she had a few other health conditions. Also, if she has dementia, you should have been making her appointments in the first place.
Hi there, does your Mom have a sense of humor? Sounds like the beginnings of a long road for you; where I started about 4 1/2 years ago. I made a sign that said
"I dont know" amongst other sayings and held them up when she repeated herself, she read them and laughed so hard. Other than that you must realize she cant help it, just keep repeating yourself because she doesnt remember.
As far as the drs visits, I believe it in her mind, she probably thinks she hasnt gone in a long time and knows inside something is wrong with her but cant express it.
I told my Mom she is a little forgetful but I will help her if she forgets and she can help me if I forget. She said "thank you, that makes me feel good"
I never told her she has alz, why upset her. My Mom used to take old pictures and cut or rip them them into a million pieces and do anything repedative that she could, even getting out of bed 6 times an hour. Good luck, use your imagination and use the lies you need to to help her thru it, its hard to do but its for their benefit and they cant help it, very sad, I hope I dont get this disease.
My mom has dementia and she is getting to the same stage. She lives with me and my family (husband, son, granddaughter) so it's very taxing and frustrating. I too am searching for how to make things easier on all of us. I have tried making calendars on the computer that I update repeatedly to remind her of upcoming events. Now I find I forget to update them enough and it has become another chore for me. I try to write things down to give her information, but in the end she loses everything. At first I thought she just wasn't paying attention but I now see that it's gotten bad enough to be able to tell the difference. Good Luck and I hope someone has a solution (but I think not)...
Get a dry erase board(the larger the better) write down dr appt. times and other memos for her to see. I don't know if she is still able to read or understand. but if so try that out. Then she can see when her appts. are daily. You mentioned about her calling the drs. My mom got to a point where she would dial random numbers. If someone answered she would go into a conversation with a complete stranger. When they hung up on her she would die another number. I then removed the phone from her reach. If she wanted the phone she would ask and I would dial the number for her. Mom used to ask about her appts too. I would feed her a line. Things like: "dr is on vacation", or "they just called", "I just called", or "line was busy or out of office". That satisfied my mom briefly until she asked again. But it helped.

As far as repeating everything just go with it. For my sanity, I keep my replies short and sweet. Yes,No, Maybe, I don't know was answers for a lot of things. I would even cut her off mid sentence with one the those answers. I knew what she was going to say before she finished. One bad days, I found that redirecting the conversations helped. I learned to tune mom out when she started telling her "stories". I would say "Oh yeah" periodically so she thought I was listening. I'd even throw in a chuckle once in a while. All the while I was going about my business. I guess I have learned how to be a man in the listening department. My husband says I have mastered the one-sided conversation.LOL!!

Don't let her get to you. LAUGHTER is the best cure when you think your going insane.
Many of us have been where you are, it's not easy, nut humor does help. I often pretended that she was just fooling, like saying, " oh, you're so silly!" I agree about the short answers, it helps because you will be saying it again soon.
You didn't say if she lives alone, sounds like she's reached a point where that is not a safe choice. It is hard to help her move to a new situation, but once that happens, or if a caregiver comes in, someone else should handle the DR's appts.
Shall we add the fact that she's extremely hard of hearing and refuses to wear a hearing aide? So not only do I have to repeat and repeat and repeat....I have to repeat very loudly. The first answer she doesn't hear, the second time she repeats it back wrong...by the third time I answer I'm yelling, then she'll say, "I understood you, you don't have to YELL!" By that time I'm ready to just out and walk in front of a bus.
My mother is deaf. We use a combination of universal and simple sign language (that even I can remember --- like "yes", "no", "nap?") and writing on a small 81/2 x 11 whiteboard for immediate -- needing an answer right away - kind of things. Now my mother is ALSO legally blind so I need to write in a 36 font or larger. In other words, answers are short if she needs them quickly.

In the case of long term stuff, when she needs to know when her appointments are or my schedule for the week, I found a large print daily planner online and that's where we write information where I get the same questions over and over, again, for a week or more if we didn't do this. It's cut down on some of the questions.

What helps me, too, is that I'm not the only caregiver so I don't have to deal with this issue 24/7. I finally hired help since I have no help in town from family. It's all cut down on my "walk in front of a bus" moments that I think we all experience from time to time.
Keeping your answers simple are key. Long explanations just frustrate both of you. And if you have answered the same question for several times ..you can try what I say "remember that I told you....(whatever you told her) " sometimes that helps because they really dont enjoy forgetting things. As for her answering and using the phone, you need to change that. It is so easy for someone to call and get her personal info, bank info, etc..etc..etc..
My 83 year old mom with dementia lives with me and I have definitely experienced a lot of the same issues. I have a very large desk top calendar that I keep on the counter in the dining room because that's where she spends a lot of her time, reading the paper and eating! I use different color ink for her, myself, and my son's activities and appointments. I label them at the top of the calendar as to who has what color. I have my cell phone number written there and my older brother's cell because he is also local. Don't know if she would remember to look there if she needed, but they are there-more in case I'm not here and someone else is looking after her. Mom will stand and look over the calendar for long periods of time...I just let her. I do schedule all her appointments and when she asks me things I do tell her I will call her Dr. and ask...and then she will forget about it usually. I also find myself repeating things and I do struggle with this. I have to keep reminding myself that unlike my two grandbabies who are constantly learning new things through repetition, mom will never be able to re-remember how to do things for herself, even the simple things such as remembering to wash her hands after using the bathroom, flushing the toilet, turning out lights. It truly is scary to watch. I have tried writing down step by step directions for her, but that didn't work either, I don't think she really comprehends a lot of what she reads, but she loves to read and so I take her to the library regularly and allow her to check out whatever books she wants...sometimes they are the same books she has already read, but if she doesn't remember they are like new to her! It can be very frustrating and very difficult to always be compassionate...I pray about our relationship all the time and just recently I have begun to think about every little thing I do for mom in a different way...what if this woman before me was the mother of Jesus? Would I be treating her the same way? It is sad that I can treat other people better than my own family! It's why I keep coming back here...and yes, humor is very important, I just have to be careful that mom doesn't think I am laughing AT her. My prayers are with you, hang in there and keep coming back here, it does help to keep the perspective!

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