Such as "did I take my medications" or "did so and so bring me a gift for my birthday", "what day is today", etc. It is really starting to wear on her live in aide of 5 years. So I was just wondering how other caregivers cope with this frustrating situation? I am trying to address what I can. I purchased some large print calendars. I am also buying a large clock for the room she spends most of her time in. As far as the meds go, it usually occurs at night. After she takes her meds she will keep asking if she had them. Any ideas of how the aide should handle it?
My mother is hard of hearing, so I don't know if the huh? is real or not. ARGH!! It gets old repeating everything.
I've been noticing something else with my mom -- she asks the same questions, too, and kind of realizes she's doing it, but realized it's gotten to be a bad habit. She and I think she's looking for some kind of reassurance. It's kind of a bad habit she's gotten into. Sometimes, she's fine if I don't answer. Other times, she gets a bit upset. But she and I realize it's not always because she's actually forgotten the thing that she's asking about. She thinks she even sometimes uses this as a greeting when I come into the room. Instead of "What's up?" she says "What day is it?"
I should add that her verbal skills are diminishing -- she literally can't think of the right words to use or the right phrases and sometimes says something different than what she really wants to say.
However, I have to keep reminding her to look at notes, clock, other things that would tell her the information she asks me. On a bad day, she'll literally forget to look at the clock and entirely lose track of time. So, none of this works all the time, either.
But the reality is probably that all you can do is help the person ask fewer questions, not get rid of the constant asking. And you also do it because, if they can see the information without waiting for someone to ask the question of, it might give the person some peace and they might not get so worked-up.
Sometimes I think shooting myself would be less painful! This behavior is annoying beyond belief! My mother asks if the dog has been fed at least 30 times a day, wait could be upwards of 50! If I did not love this dog so much I would get rid of it, in hopes of stopping the questions. Of course then Mom would either still ask the question because she would not realize the dog was gone or switch to another question.
Perhaps you need to ask the doctor about a switch in medication? Our doctor told us that some are better at stopping the bad behaviors.
I have made signs and hung them everywhere. Mom tears them down and tosses them in the trash because "she is mad that I am making it sound like her memory is bad or that she is crazy." When I say Mom look at the sign on the cabinet, she says, "that sign doesn't mean a damn thing to me!" or "I don't want to read it, why can't you just open your mouth and answer my question!"
I hope you do not lose your care giver over this.....a good one is hard to find!
I sympathize with hearing the same questions and stories, but the frustration goes down after a while. As Jeanne said, the easiest and best way is to answer the questions. It is so tempting to say, "I told you ... five minutes ago." This just makes everyone feel bad. I hope that your mother's aide is able to continue to work with her. It does take a lot of patience.
It is generally less wearing to simply answer each question as if it were asked for the first time. Does this drive the answerer absolutely around the bend? Yes, it is VERY frustrating. But it is easy, and respectful. Just answer the question.
You are already anticipating some ways to reduce the questions. A large calendar. (My mother finds the date and day on the newspaper each day. We also write the date on her white board.) An oversized clock. You could make a pill chart with a square for each dose. The aide puts a big X in the square when the pills are taken. Then she can answer, "Yes, see, you took the evening pills already," pointing to the X. Mom might learn to look for the X herself.
You can reduce the frustration of the aide somewhat by these methods. I won't hold out a false promise that that will end the matter. Mom may just go on to other questions. Praise the aide for her patience. Sympathize with what she endures. But Mom can't help this behavior, so I hope you can both summon up the strength to continue to treat her with dignity. Answer her questions and divert her to another topic.
This is not easy! We all deserve medals!