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Hi. Yes, that sounds familiar. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's not. Do you get many breaks? It's good to have this website to vent on. I'm not with my mom all the time so it's easier for me. I hope you get some time off. Good luck!
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Thank you for the comments. All are helpful. While mom has very poor short term memory and doesn't always know she's repeating (sometimes she asks about it), I see that she still experiences a variety of feelings, embarrassment included. That's one I want to avoid. Am learning to listen (with a different outlook) and ask some questions; sometimes I learn something new! Using written answers and a white board are helpful for several questions. Taking a break is so important, and checking in with your is the best!
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First pray for grace, practice your smile, drop your shoulders,count to 10 before you answer the same question with the same answer for the 5th time and be thankful that they are there to ask those questions. Remember that this life is only practice for the upcoming one. One trick that works on certain questions is to write down the answer and put it close to them, then the next time they ask the same question, tell them to look at the paper for the answer, after a few time, you will catch them starting to ask and then looking at the paper instead. Ramember to breathe! Take an extra few minutes of time for yourself when you leave the room.
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The best thing is to respond as though it were the first time you were hearing the story. This repetition will increase as the disease progresses. The person is not aware that they are repeating themselves and bringing it to their atteniton could only cause embarrassment and/or frustration.
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Just listen. Reminiscing is a wonderful thing. And, for me, listening to the same words or questions over and over is much preferred to silent periods when nothing is being shared. And, you are indeed sharing. Try to listen attentively and comment to keep the conversation going. It is difficult at first, but remember this conversation is new to your mother. But, yes indeed patience is a requirement.
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Mine talks constantly. Starting about 11:30 am we are "going to church" , "going to the dr", where am I sleeping tonite" when are they coming to pick me up". It is always QUESTIONS, and if I try to get something done or just ignore her she only gets louder and will follow me. I do this 24/7. There are days I am about to loose my mind. She folds clothes, helps me make the bed, I can redirect her, but ten seconds later we are on it again. I take her outside when i can, get her a different prespective, something different to look at and talk about , and while we are outside she starts again. As was said earlier, patience and venting. and more venting, and then vent some more...
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I like the idea of slight detachment--listening to what she's saying but remembering that she doesn't remember! Thanks.
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WHen something repetitive is going on that's making me nuts, I make a game of either counting how many repetitions happen or tracking how little time it takes before it comes up again. This does several things -- make a game of it; keep me observing from a slightly detached position, rather than totally "in" it; and if the numbers are high I get to think "oh wow!" and if they're low I get to think "so it's not as bad as all that."
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OMG, that is so true! Have to admit that a good laugh causes the above.
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Wetting ones pants at two is cute. Wetting ones pants at 82, not so funny. ha.
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The details idea is a great one, too. I'll do it! I have to stop giving my opinion about a subject because she gets agitated when it's different from hers. The "teeth" story is funny and is so like my mom. My dad was in the Army, and they traveled extensively so she has many interesting stories to tell. Of course, her favorite one lately is when we had a layover in Italy and I wet my pants constantly (I was 2). That's embarrassing in front of company. Oh well, I can take it. Thanks for listening!
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For what it's worth... (I am only with a dementia patient 6-10 hrs/wk) But when the repetitive stories start wearing on me, I try to guide the conversation into a different "loop". I have found it to actually be enjoyable (again less than 10 hrs/wk speaking). By asking about certain details of a repeated story, it has at times opened new memories, albeit small, and allows me to learn a bit more about their past, and for me makes the stories at least a little bit different! Again, for what it's worth...hope it helps!
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Dani, I should add it took me about a year to stop going crazy when mil asked the same questions over and over again and telling the same stories. So it's a process. But she is such a good sport about it. She knows that her memory is in the crapper these days, and she and I laugh about it lots. One time I took her to the dentist for her regular check up. The dentist told her she HAD to be taking her partial plate out at night and soaking it in Polident. Well, he had her take it out and he put it in a little box. After he explained to me about that, he handed me the box and I put it in my purse. We were not 20 feet out of the office and I saw her stick her finger in her mouth. I knew what was coming, and sure enough she turns to me as we walk down the hall and says' where are my teeth? Have you got my teeth?' It was so funny. I explained what the dentist said and she was good with it. Two minutes later I see her running her tongue around her mouth, I know it's coming.... "My teeth are missing. What happened to my teeth?" Now you gotta laugh at that.
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We support you and understand. Things get aggregating and we lol for awnserz sometimes tha are hard to find so it helps to just vent. And that's perfectly fine to. Many of us just vent. That is one reason why this particular web site was created. To ask questions,seek support,or just vent. Praying for you.
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Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions; they are helpful. I agree that you have to grow a tough skin when dealing with dementia. I'll just keep smiling and nodding, too, when she repeats. I don't want her to feel bad about doing that. Thanks again.
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Thanks, she hasn't been diagnosed with dementia(that I know of) she's never said it,only asked what I would do if she got the alzhiehmers. My fil drives her to appt. But she is sharp as a tack as far as has very strict routines that she rarely forgets(everyone used to joke that she had her husband on a schedule of when to take a s*#!) He had dementia but she didn't tell anyone for a long time. I help her with taking her meds,bp,sugar at night cause she seems to get slow,weaker at night. But she handles getting her own pills ready. Keeps track of when she needs refils. There has been a few times here latly she forgets to do her morning stuff,(but she was busy with appt those days sometimes I think she forgets to brush teeth in the eve but she says she remembers not brushing them? I don't know I finish her sentences a lot is the big thing, last night she called the t.v. a radio for example or her chair is a whatchamicalit lol. She will come ask me like 5 times what time I am leaving if I am going to the store. So she remembers im going. I don't know. She is kinda a every hair in its place kinda person so im trying to figure what's normal old age, what's not. You post just struck something with me. Anyways to awnser you question when I've worked in nh or tbi units we did the lying thing, or awnsered them over and over. Yes this does get minotinous. I would thing it would be worse if it was 24/7. You could post notes in the room she spends most her time to awnser the questions that occur daily, like supper at 4:00 or a white board, if she starts asking it over and over write it on the white boared. Thanks
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I've heard more about my mother-in-laws childhood since she's started with the Alzheimers thing, then I had ever heard in almost 40 years. The worse her memory gets, the farther back into her past she goes. I could repeat them verbatim if I wanted to. But, I listen, agree, laugh, comment on those same stories every time we're together. Who cares? It makes her happy to retell the same stories a hundred times, so I let her. She can't remember telling me them in the first place, so it's new to her. I have noticed however, that if I keep her occupied doing something different, she doesn't repeat as often. But as soon as there's a lull in the conversation, then out come the stories. Sometimes they change or she adds to them too. Whether she's remembering something extra or making it up, I don't know. But like I said, who cares? Gotta get a thick skin when it comes to this disease.
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When grandma starts up her questioning it can be both. It can be as simple as saying truthfully...We'll eat at 4pm. (over and over and over) this is the scenario where diversion or distraction can work. Does you mom still like to do anything helpful? If I've tried to help her make sense of something simple that she won't let go of, I'll grab a basket of small handcloths and washcloths and ask her to please fold them for me. I keep the basket full and ready, she will fold them for me whenever I ask, forgetting what she was harping on 5 minutes previously.

If she is worrying over something and has some anxiety, she usually develops shortness of breath, this of course can be patient specific and may not happen to you. My grandmother suffers from cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke as well as the dementia. If she is worried about the wind..I try to manuver to the window to close the blinds. She'll usually start harping about seeing the branches on the trees blowing up and down...and she won't stop saying that unless I divert and distract...or (lie) tell her the clouds are blowing out for a beautiful day tomorrow...even if they are predicting snow up to a giaraffes butt.

Loveya! HB
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How can you tell if they ask questions over and over because they forget or because they are worried?
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There are a bunch of different thoughts on this matter. Sometimes you can use gentle reminders, dry erase boards (to write the date, and where you may be in the house if she can't see you). Divert conversation to something current if you can. Most of all it is an excercise in patience. Do what you can...vent often.

My grandmother is a bit more advanced. Her stories are broken records and transcend time and space we can hear her stories hundreds of times a day. She can be sitting on the porch with the girls talking about a polka-dot dress and out of nowhere comes a story that makes us cringe. She sometimes seems out of time with everyone else and speaks about her parents like they are still living. At this point, we just go with it. There is no reasoning with her. She isn't learning anything so arguing a point is well...pointless.

We do all we can to comfort grandma and if that means agreeing with her or just sitting there listening...nodding....that is what we do. Honestly as long as I nod...she just keeps smiling and telling me the stories. Then I hug her...write on the white board that I'm going into the kitchen...or wherever else I can to catch my breath.

Take care! Keep us informed on how things work for you. If you have a specific behavior you are trying to work around maybe I can be a bit more specific. Coping is definately key. Vent if you need to.

love HB
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