My mom has gotten into the habit of saying “Help me. Help me” over and over again. We ask her what is wrong and she says nothing. Then goes back to saying it again. This can go on for hours. How can we stop this from happening?

This is a common phrase issued by people with dementia. Many times, they are scared and confused and this is their way of communicating to others that something isn’t right, they need help working through the changes and differences they are feeling as their brain isn’t working the way it used to. It can be hard to listen to these words over and over, as you are used to needing to rush to help someone when they are uttered. There is also the possibility she is hurt. Has she fallen? Are any extremities like her legs or arms tender or she is not using them as much? Have you checked to see if she has a low grade fever? Once you are certain she is physically fine, try to engage her in a conversation to let her know you are there, you aren’t going to abandon her and if she needs help with something you will be there. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to stop her from repeating this mantra over and over. You may want to have a visit with her physician, as they will know her specific medical history and can give her a complete check up.

In the meantime, try doing some activities with her, have her keep company with a cherished pet and remind her how much you love her.

3 thoughts on “How can I stop Mom from saying “Help me. Help me.”?

  • Jody

    Sounds EXACTLY like my mom! It gets VERY annoying to hear that phrase over and over. I haven’t found any way of redirecting her out it, but if you’re able to stay by her side, it will help a bit. However, I can’t always do that. One small Lorazepam at midday has helped–this medication enables her to relax and nap in the afternoon.

  • Josée

    My mother in law would yell “help” over and over again. I found that if I started asking her questions to meet her needs such as “do you need to go to the bathroom?”, ” do you need a drink?”, etc, she would stop and stare at me when I hit the right one.
    It was difficult in public places but it was the only word she seemed to have left….:-(

  • tom

    Glad to see someone post this. All the sudden my 78 year old mother did the same. She had a UTC. She lived with me. She just repeated it over and over. But when in the room with her she was almost normal. But when I left the room it repeated. When in rehab, I walked up to the room and she would be saying the same thing over and over. She doesn’t appear to be doing it again. As I walk through the nursing home, a older man in a wheel chair did the same thing as I walked by. Same tone. I wish there was something I could do .

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