Tips On Handling Repetitive Speech or Actions of a Patient or Resident with Deme

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    David Zurenda

    Tips On Handling Repetitive Speech or Actions of a Patient or Resident with Dementia, also known as Perseveration

    by David W. Zurenda, Nurse Aide 1
    Sometimes patients and residents with Alzheimer’s or Dementia will often times repeat a word, statement, question or activity over and over. While this type of behavior is usually harmless for the person suffering from dementia, it can become annoying and stressful to caregivers at time. It helps to remember that this behavior is usually triggered by anxiety, bordem, fear or environmental factors, such as noise or too much stimuli going on around them.

    Here are some tips on dealing with this behavior of dementia patients or residents, which may help and may also prevent them from becoming agitated when providing care for them:
    1. Provide them plenty of reassurance and comfort, both in words and in touch.
    2. Try distracting them with a snack or quiet activity.
    3. Avoid reminding them that they just asked the same question. Try ignoring the behavior or question and try to distract them by giving them an activity such as helping fold towels. Giving them something to do with their hands seems to always help.
    4. In certain cases we can make notes to remind them of the certain times meals are served or other routines, such as what time they receive their medications, to help remove anxiety and uncertainty about anticipated events.
    5. It is best to not discuss plans or the care your about to provide with a confused patient or resident until immediately prior to the event or activity.
    6. Learn to recognize certain behaviors. An agitated state or pulling of clothing, for example, could indicate a need to use the restroom.
    7. Most importantly, be prepared to have the same discussion or read the same book over & over and over again, and enjoy every minute of it! ?

    Footnote:
    *perseveration (pər-sĕv′ə-rā′shən)
    n.
    1. Psychology
    a. Uncontrollable repetition of a particular response, such as a word, phrase, or gesture, despite the absence or cessation of a stimulus, usually caused by brain injury or other organic disorder.
    b. The tendency to or repeat an act or activity after the cessation of the original stimulus.
    2. The act or an instance of persevering; perseverance.

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