The Caregiver's Journey

Repetitive Behaviors

Perseveration means getting stuck on one idea or one behavior and repeating it again and again. Injury to the frontal lobe of the brain is the cause.

What you might see:

  • Writing the same letters or words, or repeating the same word or phrase over and over
  • Repeating physical movements or tasks 
  • Getting “stuck” on one topic or theme (e.g., “When can I drive?”, “When can I go home?”, “I need a cigarette.”)

How you can help:

  • Use redirection (i.e., try to change the topic or focus of interest to something else).
  • Try engaging the person in a physical task if he or she is verbally “stuck” on a topic.
  • Try engaging the person in a conversation or thinking task if he or she is physically “stuck” on a task.