reciting numbers

unicorn271962

Registered User
Dec 5, 2015
1
My mum was diagnosed with dementia 4 years ago and up to the last few months has been well. She has just recently come out of hospital after 2 major ops to repair her pelvis and her hip after a fall and has been quite distressed since which has resulted in her counting out loud sometimes for hours on end. When she is asked why she is doing it she doesn't know. I can tell by her face that she is upset by it but she can't seem to stop. As a family we are all at a loss as to what to do to help. Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated.Thanks
 

1mindy

Registered User
Jul 21, 2015
539
Shropshire
My mum was diagnosed with dementia 4 years ago and up to the last few months has been well. She has just recently come out of hospital after 2 major ops to repair her pelvis and her hip after a fall and has been quite distressed since which has resulted in her counting out loud sometimes for hours on end. When she is asked why she is doing it she doesn't know. I can tell by her face that she is upset by it but she can't seem to stop. As a family we are all at a loss as to what to do to help. Any suggestions and advice would be appreciated.Thanks
I have no idea. But I know that I count in my head often. Again no idea why have done since I was small. May be your mum has but if it continues and continues to discuss I would speak to her doctor.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
There was a lady in my mother's care home who would sit and recite her multiplication tables, or at least the 2 times table, over and over. But she did not seem distressed by it.
If it's distressing your poor mum I hope it will pass, as these things often seem to for no apparent reason. Might some gentle TV programme or DVD distract her? Something she has perhaps enjoyed in the past? Films like The Sound of Music come to mind, but that's probably because it was a favourite with my own mother.
 

fizzie

Registered User
Jul 20, 2011
2,732
Can you 'distract' her from it by singing a familiar song or reciting something that she might know by heart - it might just break the pattern but the risk of course is that it might replace one thing with another - although she may find singing along (possibly even to a cd with some old familiar songs on is less distressing and maybe more fun xxx

Sometimes shocks like a fall and a stay in hospital can temporarily upset things - it is really traumatic for someone with memory loss to have major changes in their lives and can trigger all sorts of behaviour which hopefully will pass!
 

Janey russ

Registered User
Jan 2, 2014
31
This happened with my mother who had vascular dementia. One day she announced she had forgotten all her words and just started to count. I think it's a form of comfort when she was feeling distressed as it was something she could still do with confidence. She had forgotten how to speak but the numbers were still there. It is a form of reassurance when everything else in her mixed up brain had left her.
I know it's annoying but if it gives some comfort don't try to stop her as hearing her own voice also grounded her.
 

DMac

Registered User
Jul 18, 2015
535
Surrey, UK
This happened with my mother who had vascular dementia. One day she announced she had forgotten all her words and just started to count. I think it's a form of comfort when she was feeling distressed as it was something she could still do with confidence. She had forgotten how to speak but the numbers were still there. It is a form of reassurance when everything else in her mixed up brain had left her.
I know it's annoying but if it gives some comfort don't try to stop her as hearing her own voice also grounded her.
I would agree with the idea of using numbers as a form of comfort. I speak for myself, but I love maths and enjoy solving numerical puzzles. Sometimes if I'm feeling really stressed, completing a Sudoku puzzle calms me down. There is something comforting in the simplicity and absoluteness of basic number rules. Well, I think so...:)