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How do you cope with constant questions?

jeany123

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
19,036
70
Durham
Well, I certainly hope you won't feel guilty, Jeany, because you sound like a super-patient saint to me and anyone who's been through it for any length of time will know how constant qs. would drive even the saintliest saint bonkers.
Well thank you Witzend I don't know about being a saint but I think I am definitely bonkers:D

Jeany x
 

rajahh

Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
2,794
Hertfordshire
I rally had to give myself a talking to this moring. I was so close to snapping. The same question immediately after I had answered it. Gordon is due to go to Day Centre today and I am always a bit uptight in case he suddenly fefuses to go ( which does happen).

I am still shaking inside with the frustration, but am trying not to show it to him.

I do know he can't help it, but then sometimes neither can I.

Jeannette
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
I rally had to give myself a talking to this moring. I was so close to snapping. The same question immediately after I had answered it. Gordon is due to go to Day Centre today and I am always a bit uptight in case he suddenly fefuses to go ( which does happen).

I am still shaking inside with the frustration, but am trying not to show it to him.

I do know he can't help it, but then sometimes neither can I.

Jeannette
Of course you can't - we are none of us machines.

I sometimes think that all the 'expert' advice out there, though it can be very useful (Compassionate Communication etc.) can make carers feel inadequate and as if they have failed, if they can't turn themselves into non-stop, super-patient, perfect caring-machines.

I do hope you get your Day-Centre break today.
 

jeany123

Registered User
Mar 24, 2012
19,036
70
Durham
I rally had to give myself a talking to this moring. I was so close to snapping. The same question immediately after I had answered it. Gordon is due to go to Day Centre today and I am always a bit uptight in case he suddenly fefuses to go ( which does happen).

I am still shaking inside with the frustration, but am trying not to show it to him.

I do know he can't help it, but then sometimes neither can I.

Jeannette
A sigh of relief Allen has gone to the day centre, I hope Gordon goes to his , we can't be perfect all the time can we :D, I know exactly what it's like, sometimes I let it just go over me and other times especially when I am worried or stressed about something it takes me all my time to just answer and not shout " you have asked me that 20 times in the last half hour" :)
I hope you have a nice restful day Jeannette,

Jeany x
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
I rally had to give myself a talking to this moring. I was so close to snapping. The same question immediately after I had answered it. Gordon is due to go to Day Centre today and I am always a bit uptight in case he suddenly fefuses to go ( which does happen).

I am still shaking inside with the frustration, but am trying not to show it to him.

I do know he can't help it, but then sometimes neither can I.

Jeannette
Me too Jeanette, Son didn't want to go, Mam has Drs. appointment, so no way could he stay home. I tried cajoling and cheering him up. In the end when I put him on the bus he was in tears. I was cross, cross, cross with him. I make a mess of it as often as I suceed. I know he'll be fine once he's on the bus, it's just getting him up and out. Sorry if I've appeared holier-than-thou. I hope you get your break today too.
 

optocarol

Registered User
Nov 23, 2011
315
Auckland, New Zealand
We are not trained for this - I refuse to feel guilty. As I said to the SW the other week, (who is lovely BTW) before community care came into vogue, 1/2 these people would have been in psychiatric institutions. It's not community care really, it's mostly some poor long-suffering family member! Hope I haven't said this before. :D

She agreed.
 

scatterbrain

Registered User
Jan 10, 2008
25
Berkshire
same questions, different answers?

I don't think there is any real answer to this, and there is certainly no solution. My Mum is no longer with us, but I used to keep reminding myself that she really, really, really did not know that she was repeating herself. Of course, she did not know what I had said the last time she asked either, so in a way it didn't matter how much or how little detail I gave her. It helped me to cope if I varied my answers, so it almost felt as though it was a different question each time. The bottom line, though, is that they want to talk and be talked to. When my Mum became totally deaf and forgot all her words it was much worse. Please be kind to yourselves: you are doing all that you can.
 

rajahh

Registered User
Aug 29, 2008
2,794
Hertfordshire
thanks you all for your comments and encouragement. Yes he did go. so 6 hours of total freedom.

Garnuft you do not come across as holier than thou at all.

You obviously have enough stress in a day like all of us.

It is the having to make all the decisions that gets to me, and then when we make them they question it over and over.

Anyway thank you all

Jeannette
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
We are not trained for this - I refuse to feel guilty. As I said to the SW the other week, (who is lovely BTW) before community care came into vogue, 1/2 these people would have been in psychiatric institutions. It's not community care really, it's mostly some poor long-suffering family member! Hope I haven't said this before. :D

She agreed.
Well, 'community care' sounds all lovely and caring and cuddly, doesn't it? Which cannot quite be said for 'let's save a lot of money by leaving relatives to get on with it.'
 

lillybo

Registered User
Nov 10, 2011
28
Playing your Dad 's favourite music may relax him

Playing my husband's favorite music really relaxes him even when he awakes early. Also I have comedy DVDs which really cheers him up. He has Citrate Magnesium, Vitamin B complex and Omega 3,6 and 9 liquid with his fruit daily. He has Soya milk and Soya Yogurt and life is calm in our house
Warm Regards Margaret


Mostly, now I seem to be coping all right with Dad's behaviour, but the one thing I'm not doing well with is his constant questions.
I know he's after reassurance, but when he's asked me the same thing ten times in the space of an hour I feel like I'm going to explode.
He has been showing signs of sundowning. Largely I've managed to keep this under control by sticking to a strict routine and telling him he's mustn't get out of bed until he hears me get up. It's difficult for me as I have insomnia and become unwell if I don't myself regulate my sleeping pattern. He has a couple of times got up at night, but has gone back to bed when I tell him to.
Anyway, it's made more complicated by the fact he doesn't really understand time any more. Some days he doesn't want to go to bed at all. Other times he's demanding to go to bed from the minute I get home from work. I say "No, not yet, your bed time is at such a time, after which I usually have to explain what time it is now, how long he has to wait, what the arms on the clock mean. He says okay. Five minutes later he starts again. We go through the routine again. Everything settles down. Five minutes later...
He can become very difficult, taking my refusal to let him go as some kind of plot or insult. In his mind it's the middle of the night and I'm making him do something unnatural and I find it very hard to keep civil with him.
This is one of the hardest things to deal with, but there are constant questions from him all the time, about what I'm doing, about what he should do, about household tasks, about if I'm going to feed him, and at times my patience just goes out of the window. It's worst of all when I try to go to another part of the house for a breather and he follows me. I just want to lose it altogether.
Does anyone have any tactics for this sort of behaviour? I can only answer the same question so many times, he just doesn't have a clue what he's doing.
 

JMU

Registered User
Feb 17, 2012
155
Cornwall
Thanks for all your suggestions. (Sorry it's taking me a while to get round to reading all of them).
I wish I could find something to keep my dad occupied. He was always a very active, intelligent person who kept himself busy with work- he was a commercial traveller and went all over the country when still working. Even when he retired he set up a little business making things- he's a gifted artist, and read and listened to music all the time, as well as cooking and doing various bits of DIY on our house. (I did try and attach an image of one of his figures but can't figure how to shrink it down to size.)
Now, however, he has little or no interest in any of the things he used to love. I know he is bored, when I am at work he spends much of his time out and about talking to people. However, I have tried, repeatedly to get him interested in books, listening to music and making things but he just won't, He'll get all excited for a day or two, may even make a small effort to take part, but it doesn't last. He tells me the books are boring, tells me he doesn't like the music (or it's mine and he doesn't know why its on), and as for making things, he doesn't think he's good enough, his hands aren't steady enough, any excuse. I've told him it doesn't matter, it's just for him, and in fact the one thing he did draw was still good, but he won't have it. The only times I can get him actively involved with things is helping me do housework (and today he's been helping me with the DIY as opposed to how it used to be- the other way round). He does at these time seem much more like himself, but of course when I'm not there, or not able to find things to keep him busy...
I've also found he gets worked up over any kind of appointment or set time when something may happen. Even the days he goes to day care, the night before he is more anxious, asks more questions. On one occasion when my brother mentioned he might visit it was terrible. And no matter how many times I answer him, and reassure him that he doesn't need to get anxious it makes no difference.
I'd love someone to say to me: "Here's some brilliant ideas to keep him occupied, and this will prevent him getting anxious," because nothing I've tried works.
 

Slainte

Registered User
Feb 19, 2012
2
All those questions!

Just want to say 'thank you' to all who replied to the post about those repeated questions. It was just so encouraging especially as I am a newcomer to the site although I have been my dear wife's carer for 2 or 3 years ( I am 83 and she is 80 and suffering advanced vascular dementia with 90% loss of speech so often I don't know what the question is!! I only occasionlly feel sorry for myself -:) Besides, we two have been together since Sunday School and so I have so much to be thankful for.

Now, I hope someone can help me how to deal with the questions about her mum and dad and would I drive her 'home'..... to Dublin!!!
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
[QUOTE

Now, I hope someone can help me how to deal with the questions about her mum and dad and would I drive her 'home'..... to Dublin!!![/QUOTE]

No problem - amphibious vehicles are two a penny, aren't they?

Seriously, though, when my mother asked about her long-dead parents, I'd just say I hadn't seen them lately (!) but I'd give them a ring later. It was always enough to keep her happy for the moment.
When she asked to go and see them, I'd say, yes, but not just now, the roads are icy/there's been a bad accident on the A whatever, the traffic's terrible/the car's having its MOT/going in for service tomorrow, etc, etc. In other words, any plausible reason for not going today. She never remembered that I'd said the same thing several times before.
 

nikal1959

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
1
Sale,Cheshire
Constant questions

My Dad constantly asks the same questions over and over. Its so frustrating but I just think its not his fault and try to be patient.For instance my eldest Son is staying with him at the moment because he's having trouble with his marriage but everytime I speak or see my Dad he asks " is Stephen staying with me" or " when are they going to make it up"? it's definitely when he gets anxious about it. When I can't take anymore of the questions I just walk out of the room into the kitchen or somewhere else. It's such a shame but you cant help feeling like you are about to explode!
 

bluestyme

Registered User
Dec 13, 2012
1
Thank you all - we're not alone

We needed an idea to cope with the recurring questions (predictably the same, and now sometimes only seconds apart). Unfortunately, I saw no ingenious ploy – only advice to be patient and always answer. But at least now we know we are not alone.

But here's an idea: I may get a fake hearing aid, and we'll try to convince Granny that I am hard of hearing. If she thinks I can't hear her, she may understand when I ignore her!

I may be more impatient than the rest of you, because I am trying to cope with a mother-in-law, not even a blood relative.

Thank you all.
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,319
East Kent
Hello Bluestyme

Welcome to TP
I hope the fake hearing aid works for you

Everyone gets a little impatient at times, god knows I did!

Bluestyme, We have people on here who like you are looking after an in law,friends, neighbours, Grandparents, the other day I saw a post on here from an elderly mother who's daughter was suspected of having this vile disease.
So your in good company.

I used to find those repetitive questions so hard at times
you might find these links Helpful

A fact sheet on here about all sorts of repetitions
http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?documentID=159

an old thread on here about Compassionate communication with the memory impaired, it also gives some insight into the sufferers world

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/showthread.php?30801-Compassionate-Communication-with-the-Memory-Impaired

You may not get a reply from the OP ( original poster) as this thread has not been useded for a while

How about starting your own thread(s) where you will get more replies
I will put a link here in a mo

http://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/forum.php
click on the most appropriate forum for you
then click on create new thread in the gray box, it turns green when the curser hovers over it

Make a title for your thread
and your away :)
 
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CollegeGirl

Registered User
Jan 19, 2011
9,524
North East England
....

Not all people with AD lost the ability to talk - my aunt also had it and was questioning pretty much until the last 2 or 3 weeks of her life when she succumbed to the latest in a series of chest infections. That was about 5 years after her formal diagnosis and a good decade after we all realised she had it. Not all sufferers go through all the indignities people post about. Aunty Joan died aged 88 but never had incontinence, never drooled, could still walk and talk. Maybe her AD never reached the more severe levels, but it was listed as joint cause of her death along with pneumonia.
Thank you so much for posting this. It's so reassuring to know that the future isn't just completely mapped out. Xx
 

cobden28

Registered User
Jan 31, 2012
442
After having read the comments in this forum, I'm beginning to wonder if my Mum, aged 81, might have the early signs of dementia, so how do I go about finding out for sure? I'm her only known living blood relative and she & my husband do not get on at all, which only makes the sutuation much worse for me to have to cope with.

In the late 1980's my husband's employment bacame irregular and he had periods out of work which my mother did not approve of and there was one memorable occasion when she turned up on our doorstep unexpectedly and accused Mike to his face of being a 'bone-idle scrounger off the state, a lazy good-for-nothing who didn't want to work and was content for his wife to go out to work to support him'. I was also accused to my face of being a wicked, ungrateful daughter for daring to support my husband and not automatically taking her side of the argument, so I slammed the door in Mum's face and we didn't have ANY contact with her for a couple of years. Gradually though Mum and I got back to speaking again but for many years she denied having said these things about my husband; then when she did admit to having said what she did, Mike felt he couldn't ever trust her again and hasn't allowed her in our house since. Now I accept that Mum may have different views about some things but surely, knowing how important these thingsare to Mike and I, the tactful thing to do would be to simply not mention it? Despite Mum regularly asking 'why doesn't my son-in-law like me any more?' and my telling her exactly why in no uncertain terms she just will not accept the truth and as often as not I find i have to simply change the conversation abruptly when I'm with Mum otherwise we'd end up in a standing argument.

Mum is also virtually stone deaf, but didn't tell us this for many years because she's expected us to automatically be able to understand her; she's said just this, on many occasions. She does now have hearing aids but often refuses to wear them because as she lives alone and sees no-one, she doesn't want to wear the batteries out; as a result she rarely hears the phone, doesn't check her answerphone regularly and when i do manage to get through to her on the phone i have to enunciate very carefully & precisely and repeat everything several times before Mum has heard properly. As a result it's darn near impossible to hold a telephone conversation with her any more.

The following is the gist of a phone conversation that took place yesterday morning at around 10.30 am between us:-

Mum:- Why didn't you answer the phone last night when I rang?
Me:- I was in the living room watching TV and didn't hear the phone above the sound of the film.
Mum:- Why didn't you pick up the answerphone?
Me:- I was watching TV in the next room and didn't hear the phone ring.
Mum:- Why doesn't your answerphone work, like mine?
Me:- I don't know Mum and I'm not going downstairs now to find out. (I'd picked up the extension to the landline phone that's in our bedroom). We've got no central heating on right now, it's perishing cold and I'm standing here stark naked and I've got a bath running next door!
Mum:- If you're going to be bitchy like that then I might as well put the phone down.
Me:- Fine.

And at this point I put the phone down, because I really did not want to stand there in my birthday suit trying to get through to her how cold it was in our house and that I really didn't have any clothes on at the time - whilst running the risk of the bath overflowing.

Mum really does repeat the same questions over and over again, and her deafness makes it very difficult to communicate with her. I'm sure this constant asking of the same questions might be an early sign of dementia, but how do I go about finding out? Up until recently I'd have said that Mum had her wits about her, but now I'm simply not so sure.

Any advice will be welcome!