| Management Strategies
- If the repetitive action is due to an excess of energy, try to have the person you care for participate in daily exercises. Similarly, try and have tasks or activities to keep them from getting restless. Helpful tasks which they could perform are dusting, watering the garden or setting the table. Some recreational activities they may enjoy are dancing, playing cards or puzzles.
- Analyze your home environment to see whether there are common or reoccurring factors which repeatedly result in anxiety and repetitive behaviour. Try your best to reduce or eliminate noise level, visual clutter or anything that seems to trigger anxious feelings and this repetitive behaviour.
- It often helps to consider the type of work or activities that the person you care for used to do in the past, and see if their repetitive behaviour is related. Try and find alternatives, but related activities that they may be interested in. For example, they may have worked in landscaping, and are compulsively watering the plants in the house. Perhaps giving them a plot of soil in the yard that they can garden and take care of on their own will help transfer their energy into a more constructive use.
- The repetitive behaviour may be a result of some type of discomfort. Make sure that the person you care for is comfortable, and that they are not hungry, hot or cold, or have to go to the bathroom.
- If you find that the person you care for engages in repetitive behaviour when they are agitated or distressed, try and find alternative relaxation techniques. This may include things such as breathing exercises.
- The repetitive actions such as pacing or tapping may be irritating to the caregiver. If you find yourself unable to cope or unable to sleep, you may need to take yourself out of the environment for a short period of time. This would be in the best interest of yourself and the person you care for. The Alzheimer Society in your area will know what respite care is available to you and how to obtain it.