a really silly question...


Registered User
Nov 22, 2005
I know there is no one answer to this but it something I really struggle with.

My Mum has early onset and repeats herself constantly. I try to say, yes Mum - you told me that, its (awful, lovely, sad, outrageous) isn't it. But after the 13th or 14th time I find myself ignoring her (and just going um...) and this is awful to because she likes to talk alot. Once or twice she has said "Am I repeating myself?" And i dont know whether to say yes or no. I know she can't help it - and i would never want to upset her but should I lie?

Do other people find this wearing or have you all developed clever tricks to deal with it??

Sorry it is such a simple thing - I am just enjoying having people to ask questions of for the first time!!!!


Registered User
Jun 3, 2005
I find myself using a variety of responses when Mum keeps repeating herself. Sometimes I do say "we talked about that earlier, didn't we?" (and then answer the question again anyway) but it sound like a bit of a nag to keep saying that, so I try to resist. Otherwise, "Oh, is it? Did she? Have they? Didn't I? Oh yes, or No, tell me again please" (if I have time!) etc. as appropriate, and yes Um & Uh-Huh are right in there too. It's not really lying, it's just coping with what's going on without hurting her feelings, as you said.

And YES, it IS very wearing & irrritating & frustrating & enough to make you screeeeeeeeam at times, but she doesn't know she's doing it, or mean to do it, and I have to keep reminding my bad-tempered self of that.

And I've just re-read that, and don't see how it was any help at all, other than maybe sharing the experience and sympathising.

Best wishes


Registered User
Sep 26, 2005
Its a case of knowing yourself and what you are capable of. If you are one of these wonderful people with endless patience you wouldn't be asking this question. If like me you start off with good intentions but they evaporate when you are tired/busy/upset/human you have to learn to accept yourself, failings and all. In time you get more practiced at responding in a sympathetic manner and it becomes easier. Its part of the adjustment to ill health. I can let a lot flow over me but when hubby forgets conversations with the solicitor (I'm aweful managing money and we've been putting things in order for the future) or things that are important to our children I explode before I can check myself. My middle child was in hospital this week for investigations. We had a week of preparations to follow, restricted diet, coming off medications, a child riddled with pain and very cranky and then on the morning he's says, "Its the first I've heard of it" Whoosh I was up like a rocket. I'm quick to anger and just as quick to feel guilty.
Guess like Lynne, I'm just trying to sympathesise and say that many of us have trouble learning to cope with this. I feel I am getting better at it but its a long job. When I was a new mum, a health visitor said to me, "We can all try to be perfect but at the end of the day all we need to be is good enough not to do any harm". Think it applies here too. I aim not to do any harm and if I do better I pat myself on the back. Would that work for you?



Registered User
Aug 11, 2005
South-East London, UK
I try to be patient. I think I am a lot of the time. But..... When you live with someone and hear the same questions and have the same conversations over and over, day after day, it does get wearing (to put it mildly!) My husband asks repeatedly "Do anything?", i.e. "Can I do anything for you?" which sounds sweet, and I know he wants to be helpful, but he asks when I come into the room, when I leave, when I sit down, when I get up, and all points in between. Usually he asks without taking his eyes off the television. It seems almost a compulsive habit. I have tried pretending I didn't hear and he just gets very angry. So I say "No, thank you" with varying degrees of patience. Sometimes he gets a shock when I actually suggest something he can do!

Every night as soon as we start eating our evening meal, he asks "Tomorrow?", which means "Are we doing anything tomorrow?" He asks at least twice, often three or four times in the space of five minutes. I try to respond as though he hadn't asked before, but I'm afraid the fourth time will find me telling him again, but adding, "Please try to remember." And he does! Or is he too nervous to ask again? When we are out, he worries constantly that we have forgotten something. In the car (he no longer drives, thank goodness) he worries that we have enough petrol.

I know none of the above helps, but we all cope with this nightmare the best we can. My husband has suffered from vascular dementia for six or seven years, and I don't find it gets any easier, you just learn to get used to it.



Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
Birmingham Hades
Reading these posts sounds like I could have written them all!!
It is wearing all the repeating ,but I have found nothing better than uh,yes,no.
Change the subject is always a good move,are you hungry,want a cup of tea,what time is it (although Peg cannot tell the time now).
My standard answer to "can I help you" is a straight "no thank you".
Any help I might get would only cause me more work!!
I think many of the questions are a built in repetition and they only expect a negative response,the practical help never transpires any way.
I loose my patience at times we all must do at times,the consolation is that AD sufferers will have forgotten that you did loose patience with them,and I find that a little consolation.
Norman :eek:


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Norman, can a say a heartfelt 'amen' to your post, especially the last sentence.
We torment ourselves with "Should I have been more sympathetic, or could I have answered differently" and they will have forgotten.
In your wondeful words " day by day". Goodnight, Connie


Registered User
Oct 29, 2005
Leeds, UK
yup, day by day, if mum asks I generally give a short answer, longer ones do nothing.
if i am in a bad mood, i still give a short answer then go scream into a towel in the bathroom, hehe


Registered User
Jul 15, 2005
We try to humour Mom and listen like we've never heard the same stories before but it does get old ! Sometimes I feel like I'm living a bad episode of "Twilite Zone." !!



Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
If I am asked one more time which day the recycling is collected, I shall scream! Not only is my husband obsessed by it, but he seems to think that the collection is extremely unreliable. "Well, if you say it's Wednesday I suppose they might come," when in fact it has never not happened on the day it is supposed to.

Then, when the recycling boxes are out and waiting, there are hourly reports on the fact that it hasn't gone yet. I lost it recently, and asked if the removal of a box of bottles and empty cat food tins today, tomorrow, or next week was really that important. Didn't go down well.

Our relationship used to invove a lot of repartee, and with that gone is pretty sterile. The other night the girl who fainted and had to leave I'm a Celebrity was interviewed, and she repeated over and over again that she would never, ever, go camping again in her life. After this had been said to camera at least 6 times, I said to husband 'Hmm. what do you think she won't ever do again?' to which he looked puzzled and said he had no idea.


Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
Ronda Spain
I have been priding myself on answering the same question constantly with my ability to rmake the answer sound as if I have heard it for the first time - I used to be an actor so repitition is not so difficult ... however I got really caught out last night.
Rayan air ran 2 hours late but apart from that it went better than I could have hoped. Her constipations turned into mild diaoreare

(i am now lost as my spell check has died with change of server so the reality of my education is now apparent!!)

Arrived in Southwark around 19.00 saw out the last tenant and because the flat was bereft of knives forks cups headed for the 5 or 6 indian late night shops for food and cutlery.... very cold- Monique wanted the loo and wet herself in one of the shops so I put down all the shopping and we headed back at a pace to the flat where I showerd her and put her to bed... went shopping for packaged food and polystyrene cups and cutlery... all that was available.

Got back and Monique was on the prowl - very disorientated and had decided she was in her teens... I was some boy friend and her mother (dead some 20 years) was expecting her home and would I please take her at once...
'But I spoke to your mother this morning and she knows you are with me'
'What did she say?'
'That it was no problem and you could stay with me'''
'Thats sweet of you but we have no telephone - who are you by the' way?
'Michael - your husband.
'That's sweet but I have to go home now or I will be in trouble'
Entering living room with suitcase - 'come on help me pack then we can walk home'..'
'look we are in England and France is a long long way'
'Don't be silly - we just have to walk down the road - now '?
'Why don't we just go to bed - it's late'
'Ma Mere is waiting for me - she will be cross if I do not come home now - who are you?

All this goes on for an hour or so... as I dig myself into deeper pits - but the one thing I cannot say is your 65 - married to me forever - any your mum is dead for decades... writing about it makes me smile but last night it nearly drove me crackers....

Still could be worse - What if she did not fancy me!!!!!

love to you all



Registered User
Nov 28, 2004
Dear Michael
I have been wondering how you were getting on. I feel a little fearful at what may be in store for us, but admire you for how you have coped with it all. Meanwhile, can I try a new computer skill on you? The correct spelling is diarrhoea


Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
Michael, thanks for letting us know how things are going. Sorry that you had such a bad start.
Where do you get your humour from?, I seem to have lost mine recently 9maybe only mislaid).
Do hope things get a tad easier whilst you are back in England. Thinking of you, Connie

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Had my belly laugh for the day!

Loiner, Rummy & Rosalind,

I cackled on and on like a mad banshee woman reading your posts. I startled the cats & my husband asked me to be quiet because he's downstairs watching TV.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I really needed that.

Canadian Joanne

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 8, 2005
Toronto, Canada
Travelling with an AD patient

I know what you mean - AD patients simply become more and more confused when they travel. I'm amazed by your courage. As you have said before, you don't have a lot of options. So good luck to you. I hope Monique settles in sooner rather than later.

Are you planning to stay in England for a while before moving back to France?