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Welcome to CareNotes. In this special section we will feature a reader's letter and provide an opportunity for an interactive exchange that will help find some answers and possible solutions to concerns. If you wish to respond to this letter, simple follow the link provided at the end of the letter and add your comments and thoughts to our CareNotes Board.

This Week's Carenote - 08/27/13


From Kalpana
in India

I am a caregiver and looking for tips to deal with the anger and frustration of having to repeat the same thing 100 times. Help me deal with this. My father is 85.


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Name: poornima
Location: bangalore, india
Date: 09/11/2013
Time: 04:12 AM


Hello Kalpana, It is nice to meet you but sad we have to meet here. I am sorry about your father. My husband had dementia and he passed away in 2007. I completely understand what u r going through.One needs to have lot of patience to take care of dementia patient. My husband used to ask the same questions, repeat same sentences. When we go for walk he will make the same statements - so sometimes i make the statement before he does and he starts laughing so it became like a game and something to laugh together. They may not understand, analyse, reason or judge but they can still feel for a long time. We can make use of that and we can go to their level, joke, laugh, love and sing the songs the person is still familiar with. I know it is hard but have faith that there is a reason why u r chosen to go through this experience. Take care!

Name: Gloria
Location: Tampa, Fl
Date: 08/28/2013
Time: 01:50 PM


I am not certain that writing down something for a dementia patient to read is a solution. In early dementia, maybe. Later stages, no. My husband lost the ability to understand what he was reading and then went on to be unable to read at all. Keep in mind that your Dad doesn't remember repeating the same question, just answer it again with a smile if possible. I know it is frustrating, I did it for the last two years of my husband's life. He passed away in July and I would gladly answer his questions now if he could ask them. I feel for you, it is very hard to keep from becoming angry and wanting to scream at him. He is not doing this on purpose and has no control over his thoughts. As one writer said, it is like taking care of a small child. Surround your Dad with love and as much patience as you can. You will be grateful that you did when he is gone. Meanwhile, try to take care of yourself. I know that is easier said than done but do try. My heart goes out to you with many hugs. Gloria

Name: Cathy
Location: Hartford, CT
Date: 08/27/2013
Time: 01:55 PM


I found that writing things down in a notebook for your loved one is helpful. Then color code what you wrote for easy reference. Have your father sign that he discussed what you wrote that way he can look it up based on the color coded tabs in the notebook and see you already had that discussion. This is especially helpful for important decsions. It may help him if could also write things down for himself. It might jog his memory if he reads what he wrote.

Name: Jane
Location: Kansas City
Date: 08/27/2013
Time: 12:15 PM


We caregivers are impatient people, aren't we?! We forget that people with dementia cannot remember what happened 5 minutes ago, so we get upset that we have to answer the same question over and over. Patience is in short supply among caregivers. We have more to do than we can fit into a 24 hour day. We don't have time to re-do... Perhaps slowing ourselves down and paying attention to the person with dementia can alleviate some of their anxiety. Maybe finding something to do with them will help them feel like they are part of life again. How about exploring what the topic of the question is(what does home mean to you? what do you think about going to the doctor? Tell me about the last time you saw the dentist?). The person with dementia is not to blame for our frustration at having to answer the same question 48,000 times. The frustration is ours as caregivers. Learning to respond in a different emotional state is what we need. A deep breath starts to calm me down so I can respond without anger and frustration.

Name: Donna R
Location: Royal Oak, MI 48967
Date: 08/27/2013
Time: 08:08 AM


I stopped being angry and started to appreciate that I only need to think of one answer as it was usually the same question over and over. Mom didn't remember that I had just answered her question, so the same answer was ok with her. It made it so much easier to remind myself I didn't need to answer it for real as Mom wasn't trying to make me work harder, she just didn't have the ability to communicate like she use to because she was sick. It was up to me to enter her world, she couldn't do mine any more. Good luck and lots of hugs to you. Donna R

Name: Sandi
Location: Fargo
Date: 08/27/2013
Time: 07:11 AM


Make a game in your own mind of it....truly keep track of the number of repeats (might be less than you imagine!) often....most important is to respond in LOVE....take deep breaths before a response....some write the answer down (I can no longer do this @ our home)...remember, when YOU were 2 or so your dad had to do the same thing with you! Good luck

Name: Alison Zartman
Location: Broad Run, Virginia
Date: 08/27/2013
Time: 06:46 AM


Let him try the Exelon Patch. It works wonders for my 93 year old mother!!



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