1. jrw197331

    jrw197331 New member

    Oct 16, 2019
    2
    My mother has vascular dementia,it is very challenging at times. Answering the same question several times,telling Mum the same thing over and over. I know it isn't my Mum's fault,but I get so frustrated and stressed,I'm really struggling with it all. I just wondered if anyone had any advice on how to stay calm and not get so stressed out?
     
  2. Louise7

    Louise7 Registered User

    Mar 25, 2016
    1,291
    It's difficult but there's a really useful thread here called 'compassionate communication' and it's worth a read with regards techniques to help when communicating with those with dementia: https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

    When my Mum got stuck in a bit of a loop and kept asking the same thing I found that distracting her usually worked - I offered her a coffee and a biscuit or cake, or some chocolate - and it did the trick. Maybe think of something that might distract your Mum for a while, an activity around the house if she is able, like helping with folding up the washing, helping to dust etc, or just a cup of tea. Whatever you think might work in distracting her for a while.
     
  3. Pete1

    Pete1 Registered User

    Jul 16, 2019
    162
    Male
    Hi @jrw197331, it can be very frustrating and I doubt there are many of us that haven't lost our cool at some point, usually when we are tired and stressed through the other incidentals of life, like work and trying to manage the strain on relationships outside our loved one with dementia. The thread provides some useful guidance, probably the biggest difficulty is accepting the dementia and that we need to treat our loved one differently, why can't they respond to reason now? It sounds as though you have already grasped that which is half the battle....it took me a long time, I would go to great lengths to reason and explain, but of course that is a futile exercise. I always feel bad about the times I got frustrated with the same question 30 times ...usually 'where is this place'. I realised later I was frightened at the situation and my inability to make things right. I think have some pre-planned ways of dealing with it, but recognise that you aren't a bad person if you do get frustrated, merely a normal human being. All the best.
     
  4. Jale

    Jale Registered User

    Jul 9, 2018
    294
    Female
    Apart from distraction which sometimes worked sometimes didn't, when I felt myself starting to get frustrated I used to say I needed the loo, went outside and took deep breaths and silently screamed in my head - weird I know but it did help. There is no set answer - but if you have access to Admiral Nurses, even if it just a phone call, then I would recommend that you contact them. Mine was a sanity saver to me
     
  5. jaymor

    jaymor Volunteer Moderator

    Jul 14, 2006
    12,512
    Female
    England
    I’d say ‘oh I can’t remember, give me a minute or two to think’. This I felt gave me a breathing space and hopefully gave my husband the feeling others sometimes struggled to remember. Sometimes this broke the cycle of asking, sometimes it didn’t. Then distraction, a little job to do or coffee and cake helped to distract.
     
  6. BryanG2001

    BryanG2001 Registered User

    Mar 2, 2014
    40
    I had a different theory in the earlier days of Mums journey, she was asking the question but not actually listening to the answer. So I used to get to her eye level and hold a hand so that her total concentration was on me and then answer the question. That usually got me 1/2 hour or so before she asked again. There are lots of techniques to try which means lots of learning and reading for you. You didn't know that your Mum having dementia meant back to school for you?
     
  7. Champers

    Champers Registered User

    Jan 3, 2019
    166
    It’s so true about adjusting your own mindset when having a conversation with a PWD. My lovely husband has always been very fair and balanced in the way he deals and reasons with people. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work at all with either of our mothers. He feels we have a duty of care and am obliged every time to explain why we are making certain decisions and keeps trying to give them the whole picture.

    I’m having to ‘retrain’ him too and get him to appreciate that neither of them have the same logic anymore and his helpfulness is possibly confusing them more. I worked for nearly 20 years with primary school children and I’ve tried to apply the same mind set to our mothers. Simple clear answers, try not to engage in, or ignore contrary behaviour (easier said than done! I’ve lost my rag on a few occasions! ) No need to justify answers - as you’re really the responsible adult now and perfecting that gritted teeth smile when you’ve heard the same question for the tenth time.
     
  8. Baker17

    Baker17 Registered User

    Mar 9, 2016
    268
    This made me chuckle, if I say to my husband oh I can’t remember he usually says ‘ I thought it was me with the bad memory or your memory is worse than mine’ I just agree
     
  9. Florencefennel

    Florencefennel Registered User

    Jun 11, 2018
    19
    I do the same thing, just for a change and get the same reply! Still it usually makes for a joint chuckle which is very necessary and welcome. It’s 10am now and I’ve said it’s Friday many times already hey ho!
     
  10. DesperateofDevon

    DesperateofDevon Registered User

    Jul 7, 2019
    1,555
    Different forms of dementia mean that it’s a constant changing landscape of confusion.
    With Mum I found information is retained but retrieving it is a lottery..

    When given options of information at times Mum can retrieve snippets at times but mostly it’s a no go situation.

    I find humour & laughter to be a great reliever- mum has a sense of the ridiculous at times & I just try & find the balance between sympathy & laughter - to be honest I often just resort to trying to distract with a snack or just by putting the kettle on !

    it’s like walking through quick sand at times..... very tricky!
     

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