Repetitive sentences or questions

Repetitive sentences or questions

A person with dementia may do or say something over and over. This can be repetition of a word, question or activity or undoing something that has just been finished. Try to remember that the person with dementia is not intentionally trying to annoy you, but is most likely looking for comfort. In all likelihood, the person has  forgotten having asked a question or that the question has been answered already. Repetitive questioning can be extremely tiring and irritating, but try to remember that it is frustrating for the person who is permanently waiting for an answer. It may make them feel anxious or insecure.Giving an answer to the question might help for a short time. If the person is still able to read it may help to write down the answer and show it to the person. That way you don’t have to repeat yourself constantly. Look for a reason behind the repetition. Is there a certain time of day or around certain people that the repetition occurs more often? Maybe the person is trying to communicate something specific? Is the person in pain, are they lost, do they need the toilet? Is there a common theme to their questions?Focus on the emotion, not the behaviour. Rather than reacting to what the person is doing, try to think about how he or she is feeling.Stay calm and be patient. Reassure the person with a calm voice and gentle touch if appropriate. Don't argue or try to use logic. The person may not remember asking question already.Use memory aids. Offer reminders by using notes, clocks, calendars or photographs, if the person is able to understand this. Use a distraction. Distract the person with simple activities such as dusting, folding clothes, polishing shoes, cleaning etc. Change the subject. Try to engage in conversation about something the person is interested in. This might get their mind from their question.

Write down the answer, if the person can read

Stay calm and be patient

Focus on the emotion, not the behaviour

Use memory aids

Look for the underlying meaning. Pain? In need of toilet?

Distract with other activities

Ignore the question and get a break

Change the subject

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI)
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is the worldwide federation of Alzheimer associations, which support people with dementia and their families
Welcome to the Alzheimer Europe website. We are a non-profit non-governmental organisation (NGO) aiming to provide a voice to people with dementia and their carers, make dementia a European priority, promote a rights-based approach to dementia, support dementia research and strengthen the European d…

Alzheimer’s Society
From day one of dementia, we’ll be right here with you. For support and advice. For pushing for change, and for life-changing treatments and care.
Alzheimer Society of Canada


The DemiCare project has been funded by the Active and Assisted Living programme. AAL is a European programme funding innovation that keeps people connected, healthy, active and happy into their old age.

AAL supports the development of products and services that make a real difference to people’s lives - for those facing some of the challenges of ageing and for those who care for older people if they need help.

The project has an overall budget of 2.029.091,76 €, to which the AAL will contribute with 1.477.535,07 €