Understanding & Managing Repetition with Alzheimer’s

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Managing Repetition with Alzheimers

As Alzheimer’s progresses, some seniors begin to exhibit repetitive behaviors, ranging from asking the same question multiple times to repeating certain movements. By understanding the possible causes for such behaviors, family caregivers can better manage the care they provide to their aging loved one.

Types of Repetitious Behavior

Sometimes referred to as perseveration, Alzheimer’s patients sometimes repeat certain responses, use certain words and phrases in their conversations or make inappropriate gestures such as swatting at a fly that’s no longer there. Repetitive behaviors may include:

  • Repetitive body movements (swaying or moving hands back and forth)
  • Asking to go home over and over shortly after going out
  • Making multiple phone calls to friends and loved ones

Possible Reasons for Repetitive Behaviors

Repetitive behaviors with Alzheimer’s often occur simply because the senior does not remember having done something already or out of boredom. However, some Alzheimer’s patients may revert to repetitive behaviors if they are depressed or if they become anxious over sounds they can’t identify. Additional reasons for these kinds of behavior may include:

  • Forgetting the next step(s) necessary to complete a task
  • Separation from a loved one (expressed by repeatedly asking for that person)
  • Lack of response to needs (especially if they can’t fully verbalize needs)

Because symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fear are heightened in unfamiliar places, families often prefer to provide their loved one with in-home care, supplementing care from family members with routine professional caregivers who can assist on an hourly basis. Consistent care at home, provided by familiar faces, can often help to ease negative feelings associated with Alzheimer’s, thus minimizing repetitive behaviors.

How You Can Help Your Loved One

The first step in managing repetitive behaviors in patients with Alzheimer’s is to try and figure out a cause. Start with scheduling a thorough medical exam to rule out issues with medications or undiagnosed medical ailments. Taking steps like placing clocks close to where a patient is sitting or writing answers to commonly asked questions on note cards may help ease a caregiver’s frustration with some repetitive acts. However, if a repetitive behavior is harmless and is not causing your loved one any physical or emotional distress, it can sometimes be easier to just let it go!

Need help with your caregiving responsibilities? Turn to Home Care Assistance Sonoma County today. We provide hourly and live-in Alzheimer’s care Sonoma County families trust, and all of our care services come backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. When your loved one is in the hands of our highly trained and professional caregivers, you can rest assured that he or she is not only safe, but comfortable and at ease. To learn more or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation with a friendly Care Manager, call 707-843-4368.


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