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Circular Conversations

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
Dear experienced carers,
My husband has mixed dementia and I am increasingly aware that he does not take in what is being said, but it is impossible to work out which bits he has missed. He gets cross with me for not knowing what he has missed or not remembered, When I say it is OK to have not remembered I suppose I am really reminding him that his memory is not what it was. My husband is still in denial that he has any problem and that it is everyone else who has dementia/Alzheimers.
Also, we regularly seem to get into circular animated discussions, the same questions, the same comments and even if I agree with him, he still thinks I am arguing or disagreeing.

If anyone has any tips for how I might cope better, I would be really appreciative. Or how I might see it better from OH point of view. TIA
 

marionq

Registered User
Apr 24, 2013
6,099
Scotland
Over a period of time I think you avoid arguments by making emollient noises. It may sound patronising but doing that saves you both a lot of upset. You cannot reason with dementia so if you want a good discussion about pretty well anything then you have to find it elsewhere.

Does your husband go to a daycentre? Try and organise help of that type so you are both meeting other people and some of the strain is taken off your shoulders.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,127
Try distraction too. When my Mum is in a 'loop' I ask if she'd like a piece of chocolate or cake and it always does the trick! You know your husband best so try referring to something that he likes doing, for example a walk in the garden, helping you with a household task etc.
 

WA123

Registered User
Jan 20, 2018
85
Dear experienced carers,
My husband has mixed dementia and I am increasingly aware that he does not take in what is being said, but it is impossible to work out which bits he has missed. He gets cross with me for not knowing what he has missed or not remembered, When I say it is OK to have not remembered I suppose I am really reminding him that his memory is not what it was. My husband is still in denial that he has any problem and that it is everyone else who has dementia/Alzheimers.
Also, we regularly seem to get into circular animated discussions, the same questions, the same comments and even if I agree with him, he still thinks I am arguing or disagreeing.

If anyone has any tips for how I might cope better, I would be really appreciative. Or how I might see it better from OH point of view. TIA
I agree with marionq. No-one wins in a circular discussion and it needs a change of tack. I usually say 'Really, I didn't know that' or 'silly me, I got that wrong didn't I'. This makes my husband feel better about himself and usually brings the discussion to an end. I also find it useful, If things are started to get heated, to tell him I'm going to make a cup of tea. By the time I get back he's forgotten all about the conversation and we can move on.
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
Knowing how to communicate with someone who has dementia is a particular problem. Have you come across compassionate communication?

Thank you, I have had a brief look at it. I think I will break it down into manageable bite-size pieces and work on one segment at a time.
Communication is becoming more of a problem, not just for me but for family and friends too.
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
Over a period of time I think you avoid arguments by making emollient noises. It may sound patronising but doing that saves you both a lot of upset. You cannot reason with dementia so if you want a good discussion about pretty well anything then you have to find it elsewhere.

Does your husband go to a daycentre? Try and organise help of that type so you are both meeting other people and some of the strain is taken off your shoulders.
I've tried COGS groups, singing for memory, Tibbs foundation music group, but my husband feel he can run the group better than those running it and is very demanding of people's time and disruptive to groups IF I manage to get him there. We have just found one session at a Day centre that he did want to go back to after one visit, but after the second he came away wanting to change how it is organised!

I'll try noises as well as diversions.
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
I agree with marionq. No-one wins in a circular discussion and it needs a change of tack. I usually say 'Really, I didn't know that' or 'silly me, I got that wrong didn't I'. This makes my husband feel better about himself and usually brings the discussion to an end. I also find it useful, If things are started to get heated, to tell him I'm going to make a cup of tea. By the time I get back he's forgotten all about the conversation and we can move on.
I'll try your phrases. I'm not sure he will have forgotten with only a short time. even after a 45 minute time away yesterday, he still brought the subject up as soon as I walked back through the door. Thank you
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
Try distraction too. When my Mum is in a 'loop' I ask if she'd like a piece of chocolate or cake and it always does the trick! You know your husband best so try referring to something that he likes doing, for example a walk in the garden, helping you with a household task etc.
I'll keep trying diversions. Thank you.
 

Toppo

Registered User
Sep 12, 2018
21
As communication is your particular issue I just thought you may also find something of use in the AS Factsheet about communication.

I have made this list into a more manageable ppt format - well it is easier for me to see and take small steps to improve how I interact/communicate. The messages in the above are hard to change all at once. If anyone wants a more detailed/more visual version, just let me know.
 

Attachments

kindred

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
2,427
Try distraction too. When my Mum is in a 'loop' I ask if she'd like a piece of chocolate or cake and it always does the trick! You know your husband best so try referring to something that he likes doing, for example a walk in the garden, helping you with a household task etc.
Oh yes, so agree. I watched one of the nurses at my OH nursing home cope with a resident who kept on asking where her dog was, getting more and more agitated.
The nurse sat down and said
I bet when you were young you used to take your dog for some really lovely walks?
and that distraction worked completely. I was full of admiration!
Kindred, and welcome to TP. x