Talking in a loop

Whatmalike

Registered User
Aug 20, 2018
13
So 91 year old mum who has been referred to a memory clinic and yet has no diagnosis of dementia or similar type problem.
She does however have what I believe to be dementia.
Mum is registered blind and has diabetes which means she can no longer feel her lower legs properly.
She constantly asks for pain killers and we feel awful to tell her she had them 5/10 mins ago.
Mum has loop conversations for all of us "kids" mine goes what time do you start work are you wrapped up warm mind the road etc.
Does anybody have any way of breaking loop conversations, we do change subject but she returns straight back to it !
 

Jaded'n'faded

Registered User
Jan 23, 2019
608
High Peak
Mum has always been very articulate but her language skills are now starting to break down. She sometimes can't think of the right word so she will generalise instead, e.g. 'the big place where the things are'. Recently, completely made-up words are appearing, e.g. 'we all had to make a fongle but mine wasn't right so they told me off.'

The conversation 'loops' you mention are very familiar. It's as if mum remembers the pattern/sequence of conversation, i.e. you talk for a bit or ask a question then listen to the reply, but when it's her turn she doesn't really know what to say so she falls back on an old 'tried and tested' opener such as your mum's, 'what time do you start work?'.

In mum's case, her fall-back question is, 'so did you have a nice Christmas?' I get this several times, each time I visit, all year round and it is maddening!

Don't think there is a cure for this as such, only as @Spamar has said - distraction. Mum is in a care home with nice trees outside the window. I have honestly lost count of the number of times I have said, 'Oooh! Is that a pigeon?' Works every time but doesn't stop her asking again 5 minutes later :rolleyes:
 

karaokePete

Registered User
Jul 23, 2017
5,110
N Ireland
Hello @Whatmalike, I have to say that these conversational loops are one of the things that can get very tiring for me.

There are a number of Factsheets etc on the site that give hints that may be of some use and you can read these by clicking the links below(click the 2nd lines of the Factsheet links). I hope they help
Communicating (500)
PDF printable version

Coping with memory loss (526)
PDF printable version

https://forum.alzheimers.org.uk/threads/compassionate-communication-with-the-memory-impaired.30801/
 

nae sporran

Volunteer Host
Oct 29, 2014
6,356
Bristol
So 91 year old mum who has been referred to a memory clinic and yet has no diagnosis of dementia or similar type problem.
She does however have what I believe to be dementia.
Mum is registered blind and has diabetes which means she can no longer feel her lower legs properly.
She constantly asks for pain killers and we feel awful to tell her she had them 5/10 mins ago.
Mum has loop conversations for all of us "kids" mine goes what time do you start work are you wrapped up warm mind the road etc.
Does anybody have any way of breaking loop conversations, we do change subject but she returns straight back to it !
Sorry Whatmalike, sometimes distraction or changing the subject works and other days the obsessive repetition just continues. My partner asks about "you know, what is his name" as if I should remember, or floosies (which refers to any woman I was nice to today) so you have my sympathy but no solution.
 

Whatmalike

Registered User
Aug 20, 2018
13
Sorry Whatmalike, sometimes distraction or changing the subject works and other days the obsessive repetition just continues. My partner asks about "you know, what is his name" as if I should remember, or floosies (which refers to any woman I was nice to today) so you have my sympathy but no solution.
Thanks all for help just knowing we are not alone helps