Jane explains that her father, once active, now sits for long period of time tapping hands.
Jane is annoyed.
Common response: Jane works on her laptop while her father sits on the couch repeatedly tapping his hands. Jane raises her voice and pleads with him to stop. She gets up and goes over to the couch where he is sitting, puts her hands on his hand, and forcefully asks him to stop, exclaiming "Dad, cut it out."
Expert explanation: REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS is demonstrated by people with dementia because they may be unable to remember recent events or actions (short-term memory loss). They may also repeat words or gestures as a means to soothe themselves. The behaviors may be an attempt to communicate a need or physical discomfort. The recommended approach is to try and identify the underlying cause.
Recommended response: Jane approaches her father, notes he's been sitting on the couch all day, and gets him up to grab a snack. She pulls out some magazines for him to look at and puts some music on. Jane is effectively managing the occurrence of REPETITIVE BEHAVIORS.
View the Facilitator & Advanced Learning Notes.
The project described was supported by Grant Number 1C1CMS330982 from the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or any of its agencies. This project was funded, in part, by the Archstone Foundation.