Struggling with my mother's repetition and fixation

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Alec, May 3, 2019.

  1. Alec

    Alec New member

    May 3, 2019
    4
    It's driving me mad at times. Every day it's a different fixation. It gets worse as we get to the evening which is when I feel more tired and have less patience.
    Today it's the washing. Yesterday it was the carer. Any tips on how to retain my sanity would be greatly welcomed.
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,815
    Male
    Bristol
    Welcome to the forums Alec. Sadly these are part of dementia in many of it's forms and going with the flow is the best way to reduce stress. Compassionate communication will suggest agreeing with everything until your mother has tired herself out, but the reality is as hard as you say. Sorry that's not much use.
     
  3. Alec

    Alec New member

    May 3, 2019
    4
    Thanks for taking the time to reply
     
  4. Duggies-girl

    Duggies-girl Registered User

    Sep 6, 2017
    1,487
    @Alec Yes the obsessions are what I find hardest. My dad has taken to picking at his scalp and combing his hair all the time. He is also obsessed with watering and pruning his pot plants.

    Drives me nuts. I find it best to ignore it but it's hard.

    We need the patience of a saint sometimes.
     
  5. karaokePete

    karaokePete Registered User

    Jul 23, 2017
    4,897
    N Ireland
    Hello @Alec, and welcome from me too.

    As has been suggested the repetition and fixations are both common and difficult to handle.

    I wonder if you may find any local support services like a memory café to be of some use. You can do a post code check to see what's available to you by following this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/find-support-near-you

    The full list of the very informative Factsheets can be found with this link https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/get-support/publications-factsheets-full-list

    A specific Factsheet that deals with changes in behaviour, including 'sundowning' can be read by clicking the PDF line of the following link
    Changes in behaviour (525)
    PDF printable version

    As communicating becomes an issue, a few handy tips can be picked from the useful thread, that was mentioned by 'nae sporran' that can be reached with this link https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/

    Best wishes to you and your mother.
     
  6. Alec

    Alec New member

    May 3, 2019
    4
    Thanks very much for your reply. You're not wrong when you say you need the patience of a saint!
     
  7. MaNaAk

    MaNaAk Registered User

    Jun 19, 2016
    1,243
    Essex
    Dear Alec,

    Have you looked into day centres to give yourself some respite?

    MaNaAk
     
  8. Rob_E

    Rob_E Registered User

    Feb 1, 2015
    162
    Male
    Liverpool
    It's funny you should mention 'the washing', mum went through a phase where she was obsessing over the washing. One of the things she would do is go outside and bring it in half an hour after I had hung it out. It wasn't dry of course so she was then wanting to hang it up in the house - it's one of those things that sounds trivial but is surprisingly frustrating! Hiding the peg box and the basket seemed to help. I think it's that she was always the one who looked after the washing for all of her adult life.

    While the repetition is part of the condtion, it has reduced in mum's case since a medication review and the dosage of her anti depressant medication was increased to help with her anxiety. May be worth a medication review for your mother.
     
  9. Alec

    Alec New member

    May 3, 2019
    4
    Thanks very much for your reply. I'll certainly look into this. Many thanks.
     

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