Repetitive questioning is a major problem for caregivers, particularly taxing if they are unable to recognize and understand the reasons why their loved one keeps asking the same question over and over again. Caregivers may be tempted to believe that the patient does not even try to remember the answer given or is just getting obnoxious. This is incorrect. Repetitive questioning is due to the underlying disease: The patient’s short term memory is impaired and he is unable to register, encode, retain and retrieve the answer. If he is concerned about a particular topic, he will keep asking the same question over and over again. To the patient each time she asks the question, it is as if she asked it for the first time. Just answering repetitive questioning by providing repeatedly the same answer is not sufficient. Caregivers should try to identify the underlying cause for this repetitive questioning. In an earlier case study, the patient was concerned about her and her family’s safety and kept asking whether the doors are locked. In this present case study, the patient does not know how to handle the awkward situation he finds himself in. He just does not know what to do. He is not able to adjust to the new unexpected situation. So he repeatedly wants to reassure himself that he is not intruding by asking the same question over and over again. We discuss how the patient’s son-in-law could have avoided this situation and averted the catastrophic ending.
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Hamdy, Ronald C.; Kinser, Amber; Depelteau, A.; Lewis, J. V.; Copeland, Rebecca; Kendall-Wilson, Tracey; and Whalen, Kathleen. 2018. Repetitive Questioning II. Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine. Vol.4 https://doi.org/10.1177/2333721417740190 ISSN: 2333-7214