Stacey's grandmother asks the same questions over and over. Stacey answers the questions only to have them asked again a minute later.
Stacey is visibly frustrated.
Common response: Stacey wraps a gift while her grandmother asks "What time is the party?" Stacey answers "Six o'clock." Two minutes later, Stacey's grandmother asks the same question. Stacey responds in an impatient way and appears irritated.
Expert explanation: REPETITIVE QUESTIONS are often triggered by anxiety caused by memory loss as well as boredom. As dementia progresses, people often lose the ability to remember what they have just said or done (short-term memory loss). Repetitive questions may also be a result of an inability to express a need or emotion. The recommended approach is to remove triggers and alleviate anxiety and uncertainty.
Recommended response: Stacey removes items that trigger REPETITIVE QUESTIONS. She posts the day's schedule in plain view and reviews it with her grandmother several times a day. By doing this, Stacey provides her grandmother with attention and reassurance that she needs.
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.