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Repetition of questions or actions can be particularly stressful. This is often one of the first challenging behaviours evident in those with dementia. A frequent cause of repetition is impaired memory for recent events. Individuals with dementia may repeat questions or stories because they do not remember telling the stories or asking the questions. By observing the individual, try to identify triggers for these behaviours and develop strategies to eliminate the triggers from the patient's routine. Let's start by looking at an example.

Click the icon below to view a scenario involving repetition. While viewing, note the strategies used by the caregiver in this situation.

play video  Transcript An example scenario involving repetition.
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I is Mrs Illingworth
M is the male caregiver
F is the female caregiver

Scene 1
(The male caregiver walks into the room where the woman is sitting)

I. I'm hungry. I'm hungry. I'm hungry.

M. Mrs Illingworth. I hear that you're quite the gardener.
Let's give this plant some attention. I'll show you.

M. There just like that. Good job. You're going to put our gardeners out of work. Keep it up.

F. I see that you're taking care of the plants. They're looking great.

I. Sure are.

F. I'll be back in a few more minutes to see how you're doing.

Scene 2
(The woman is taking her time to clean a plant that has been placed near her seat)

F. Time for your lunch now Mrs Illingworth. You've been so patient and such a lady.

I. Thank you dear.

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