Coping With Dementia-Related Repetitive Actions

How to handle speech and activity fixations when they occur in patients

A person with dementia may fixate on a word, question, statement or activity and repeat it over and over. Sometimes the behavior is triggered by anxiety, boredom, fear or environmental factors.

While harmless for the person repeating the word or action, this behavior can be troublesome or stressful for those caring for the person with dementia. Fortunately, there are some ways to distract the person and break the repetitive action.

  •     Provide plenty of reassurance and comfort, both in words and in touch.‬
  •     Try distracting the person with a snack or activity.‬
  •     Avoid reminding them that they just asked the same question.
  •     Try ignoring the behavior or question and distract the person into an activity.‬
  •     Don’t discuss plans with a confused person until immediately prior to an event.‬
  •     Place a sign on the kitchen table, such as, “Dinner is at 6:30” or “Lois comes home at 5:00” to remove anxiety and uncertainty about anticipated events.‬
  •     Learn to recognize certain behaviors. An agitated state or pulling at clothing, for example, could indicate a need to use the bathroom.‬

Handle dementia-related behaviors with compassion

Next Avenue Editors Also Recommend:

Next Avenue brings you stories that are inspiring and change lives. We know that because we hear it from our readers every single day. One reader says,

"Every time I read a post, I feel like I'm able to take a single, clear lesson away from it, which is why I think it's so great."

Your generous donation will help us continue to bring you the information you care about. Every dollar donated allows us to remain a free and accessible public service. What story will you help make possible?