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Repeat conversations - dementia issue - Carers UK Forum

Repeat conversations - dementia issue

For issues specific to caring for someone with dementia.

is there any advice please?

I care for my mother who has dementia, recently the most repeated conversation is about 'missing a family birthday' namely my sisters. although I have repeatedly reassured her that this is not the case; the conversation goes round and round umpteen times daily; its beconme a fixation point.

does anyone have any idea how I move this conversation on before I lose control?
Its got to the desperate stage; way beyond sitting down later with chocolate.
I should add I also still work for a living and we have this conversation before I leave and then again from when I get through the door to late into the evening. Just what am I doing wrong?
You're not doing anything wrong. Repeated conversations is part of dementia. My Mum doesn't have dementia as such but at 100 years old things have stopped working - she's chair-bound and can only use one arm. She has a very short-term memory problem. This has an effect of her saying she wants something done - e.g. plumping up pillows, then after I've done it she repeats the request. I'm not sure if she's forgotten or whether the feedback from the physical change hasn't got back to her brain. Drives me nuts.
My mum-in-law had alzheimers and a few years ago I spent a week caring for her. She worried constantly about "the man upstairs and how he was going to evict us". It's unfortunately one of the problems with dementia. Your Mum can't help it and no way will she understand that she's doing it. I think you have to just accept it, make a joke of it if you can, and not take it personally. Easier said than done.
You go girl, 100 years, only hope we can reach that age, but how the government is they'll want us working till then. :lol:
Would it be any use to say not 'Don't worry, Mum, I've sent the cards' but 'OK, I'll send the cards today'.....would that reassure her more?

As for living to 100, dear God, not if it means having dementia! My husband died too young in his fifties, but seeing his mother reach 90 and now 'fading' mentally, teaches me vividly that one can live too long.

Surely not one of us would wish to 'die with dementia'? To be honest, I'd rather go out 'in harness' than that! (And, yes, the government will probably ensure that that happens too!!!!)
Hi Kaz,

I'm afraid that this is a very common issue with dementia which certainly doesn't make it easier to deal with. My mum is obsessed by her (non-existent) step-father and the fact that he has left mum for another woman!

I find the easiest solution is to agree with everything and reassure. Do you have any birthday cards you can show to mum for your sisters? Let her stick a stamp on the envelope etc. Other than that, all you can provide is reassurance that the card has gone, diversion to another topic etc etc.

Hopefully this phase will pass (sadly to be replaced by another obsession quite possibly). Yes, it does drive you quite mad but there are no easy solutions.
Hi Kaz, as others have said, repeated conversations are part and parcel of dementia, as are getting ideas in their heads.
Its no use trying to argue, or explain that she hasnt missed a birthday, it wont reassure her as she is certain that it is true. I like Annes idea of getting her to stick a stamp on an envelope. I usually have a stock of birthday cards as I often forget and have to send one off last minute. If you are the same then perhaps mum could choose one to "send" (which could later be put back with the rest).
And Anne is right, there will probably be a new idea in her head after that. :(
Just deal with it in the same sort of way.
Hi I thought I would add, that my mum has repeat conversations as well, she has vascular dementia, and when my dad passed away in 2013, she always wants to go home to make my dad his dinner, and to see her own mum and dad....I hear that every night since then....I had to at one point take her to local shop when she was more mobile to get my dad a steak pie, as she said i was starving my dad, so I made an extra dinner for my dad. but she wants to go home every night since then although she has lived in this house for almost 40 yrs.....im at my wits end....but have to keep my mum happy...as she thinks my dad is still alive.....
Hi Caroline, Its so difficult when they no longer recognise their home as their own. You have to be creative as to why she doesnt need to do dinner for your dad.
"He is working late tonight"
"He is going to join us later"
etc etc

Dont take her accusations to heart - remind yourself that its the dementia.
Hi Crocus, thanks for replying, it is hard when they repeat, but I always feel terrible telling her a lie....she will ask is my dad ok, as shes not seen him for a while....I always say hes fine etc....but it really is hard going....she thinks she is looking after her mum and dad...and I am stopping her from leaving to do this....I always say its cold, raining etc to calm her down...but as usual she repeats it all again.....very tiring....
It sounds like you are doing the right thing Caroline. Fr some time mum thought her husband was having affairs with other women and that was the reason why he was never at home.
If they cannot enter the real world then you have to go into theirs. Sometimes distraction will help, but not always

Dont think of it as lying to her - Ive heard it described as "love lies" because it is actually the best thing for her.