You may feel immensely happy about the fact that your parent is living well into his or her elderly years. While you understand that you will likely lose that parent one day, you undoubtedly appreciate the time you have to spend with your loved one here and now. Of course, as your parent continues to age, you may notice some concerning behaviors.
Until recently, you may not have considered your parent to be in a position where he or she needed supervision or daily care. In fact, you may have just gone on an outing together not too long ago. However, you may have found yourself becoming frustrated with your parent lately as he or she keeps asking you the same questions over and over.
Sign of Alzheimer’s disease
Often, individuals with Alzheimer’s disease have a tendency to repeat the same question several times. While this may not come as the first sign of the disease, it may be the one that triggers your concern that something could be wrong with Mom or Dad’s mental state. Typically, this repetitive behavior results from anxiety, stress and needing a touchstone to reduce confusion.
What you can do
At first, you may find yourself not understanding why you face the same question over and over, and you may become frustrated or even angry at the repetition. However, after recognizing this action as one for concern, you may want to consider the following steps you can take to handle the questions:
- Offer reassurance: Because repeated questions can stem from stress or confusion, you may want to determine whether your parent may feel these emotions and offer a calming gesture to reassure him or her.
- Offer a distraction: Commonly, mental decline can cause a person to fixate on one topic. If your parent continues to ask the same question, you may want to find an activity that may distract him or her.
- Offer yourself an escape: Even if you understand that your parent is suffering from mental decline, it can still feel overwhelming and difficult for you to handle. Therefore, you may want to remember to offer yourself a momentary escape, even just to go to the bathroom, to regain your bearings.
If you truly believe that your parent is experiencing serious mental decline, you should consult with a medical professional to obtain an accurate diagnosis of your parent’s condition. Additionally, you may want to consider your legal options for protecting your parent while in this vulnerable state. He or she may no longer have the ability to make sound financial decisions, and petitioning the court for conservatorship over your parent may be a necessary step to take.