Friday, 17 April 2015

Repetition


A couple of friends shared  this short video with me on Facebook.  It illustrates beautifully a familiar topic that comes up a lot in my work with people with dementia and their carers. 'She ask things over and over and over again!'  an exasperated husband said to me just a few days ago.

It's easy to think badly of  the son in this little story don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes and all that.  This is a problem that is hard to live with day in, day out.  It would drive me absolutely potty!  So, if you know someone looking after a person with dementia, are you in a position to give them a break?  Allowing them to walk away from a situation for a little while  gives them time to recharge their batteries.  And that repetitive questioning can be due to boredom, the sign of a mind that's not sufficiently occupied.   Doing something with the person  that they find enjoyable while you'll with them can make a lot of difference.

3 comments:

  1. I am presently reading `" Elizabeth is missing" for book club. It is written in the first person by an old lady with dementia whose daughter is looking after her. It keeps going back to her teenage years just after the war when her sister went missing, though that is not the Elizabeth of the title. It is fascinating, albeit quite disturbing!

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  2. My mum now has advanced dementia. In the earlier stages, she went through a phase of remarking that she married my father because he had brown eyes and she wanted brown eyed children; she has blue eyes; the four of us children all have brown eyes. The first time, we carried on talking about who had the darkest brown eyes, who had the lightest brown eyes and so on. The next time I visited her, we had the same conversation. And the next time...and the next... I didn't get fed up because I knew she would deteriorate and a time would come when she couldn't converse with me at all, but by the 9th or 10th time, I wanted to add a bit of variety so I said, "Yes, Mum, but why didn't you stop gazing into his brown eyes, turn him round, " I stood up and acted it out; "And look down a bit," I pointed to my large backside "and think about WHAT ELSE your children would inherit!" We laughed so much; it is one of the best memories I have of her when she was less affected by dementia.

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  3. That was a very moving little film, made me cry in fact.

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