Dad is getting quieter and quieter.........

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by Stresshead, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. Stresshead

    Stresshead Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    96
    My dad who has Alzheimer's is getting quieter and quieter. He is unable to make any conversation and although he can understand you you have to repeat everything two or three times to get a reply. He still attends his luncheon clubs and says he is happy to go even though I know he is quiet at them too. When he comes home at about 2.30 nothing seems to engage him and all he really wants to do is go to bed.

    Dad has deteriorated a lot this year with bouts of pneumonia and stays in hospital and has lost nearly 2 stone as he's not bothered about food anymore.

    I wondered if anybody else had experienced this ? I worry about him so much.

    Thank you xx


    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  2. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,718
    Female
    Dundee
    Hi!

    That sounds very like my husband. He sleeps a lot during the day but each weekday he goes to some activity or another. Whilst at the activities and when he is at home he really doesn't speak. Like your dad I think he understands a lot when he is asked a direct question or someone speaks directly to him but he can't formulate an answer any more. Sometimes he does come out with a sentence which is fairly complex and makes complete sense, at other times though his speech is really 'gobbledygook'. I do my best to make an appropriate response to this. Mostly I say 'is that right?' or 'is that ok with you?' As far as I can see he is happy with these responses but I don't know what's going on in his mind.

    Bill is often tired out by his activities and I let him sleep in the recliner chair when he comes home. He wakes up around 5ish and will watch anything I put on TV for him.

    I know it's hard when there is no longer any conversation but I've got used to it and enjoy the companionship we're lucky to have.

    I'm glad your dad has you to be concerned for him and look out for him.
     
  3. OlKlein

    OlKlein Registered User

    Mar 10, 2015
    13
    We had the same experience. A few weeks after living in a care home, my grandma stopped talking and eating. My parents thought it would be better and safer if grandma receives 24/7 care, so we picked a care home for her. After 4 months, we decided to bring her back home as her health deteriorated rapidly. We spent hours in the care home trying to make her eat and drink. She wouldn't accept any food from the carers and just ate little when one of us was there. Back home she started eating and talking again and she is much better now. She does talk less though and sometimes when we ask her how she feels, she says 'I don't know' and you can see that she is looking for words as if she forgot what to answer to this question. On her good days she talks more but it is still very limited.
     
  4. OlKlein

    OlKlein Registered User

    Mar 10, 2015
    13
    My grandma used to sing a lot too and she had no trouble with getting the text right. Now she sings once in a while but she is just humming it the melody, no words. I think it might be because she doesn't remember the words anymore.. maybe that's just the slow process of the disease, unfortunately :(
     
  5. Izzy

    Izzy Volunteer Moderator

    Aug 31, 2003
    58,718
    Female
    Dundee
    You reminded me! My husband still sings! Sometimes he will sing the actual words and sometimes it's 'la' but it's nice! He can still read the words from a song sheet too and follow a sing and join in. What a weird disease this is!
     
  6. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    Hi,

    I wouldn't worry too much because your dad still goes to his club (which means he still has motivation) and he says he is happy (obviously a good sign). He maybe just doesn't have the energy to express himself very much, but as long as he doesn't seem to be depressed and doesn't have any periods of anger, agitation, crying, I would think that he was doing okay. People do naturally get quieter. It doesn't have to mean that he is feeling bad. But I can understand that you will feel worried about him. My dad used to love watching TV, but now he can't stand the noise. He doesn't much care for conversation either, though he still likes to do passive things like listen to music. He has quietened down a lot.

    LS
     
  7. OlKlein

    OlKlein Registered User

    Mar 10, 2015
    13
    Hello izzy,

    Yes, my grandma sometimes uses 'lala' as well. She still understands a lot though, just doesn't talk that much anymore. She has days when she has just this blank stare as well though and you can't read much from her eyes.. makes me sad.
     
  8. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,489
    Female
    London
    My OH has also lost the ability to make sense in speech. He used to talk and talk, now he is very quiet and you have to repeat a hello or good night several times to get a response. Otherwise he's still quite content and loves to go to his day centre. Today he tried to talk to a stranger on the tube platform but didn't make sense, I asked what was the matter and he said "I don't know". I asked him gently not to bother the lady and mouthed a silent sorry. It is hard when you don't know what they are trying to say!
     
  9. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    220
    North East
    My Dad has almost lost the ability to speak altogether. It has been a gradual process. He still understands but the words just won't come out. So sad for someone who was a high ranking police officer and used to public speaking. Xx
     
  10. Stresshead

    Stresshead Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    96
    Thank you for all your replies. It's just so heartbreaking and I feel so helpless most of the time. I want to do everything to make it all better but I can't.

    What I would give for just one hour back with the dad of old and not the one that this rotten disease has robbed me of.

    Love and strength to you all xx
     
  11. irishmanc

    irishmanc Registered User

    Jan 14, 2015
    64
    Manchester
    What you are saying sounds very familiar. My lovely Dad can hardly speak any more either. I have gotten used to this and now we enjoy sitting in his room at the nursing home and listening to music together - it's a great way for us to communicate when speech has gone. Someone on here mentioned a documentary called Alive Inside which you can find on Youtube about the wonderful effect of music on dementia patients - truly a fascinating insight on this disease.
     
  12. Stresshead

    Stresshead Registered User

    Sep 13, 2014
    96
    #12 Stresshead, Aug 4, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2015

    Sorry I sent that too soon....oops !! I completely agree about music. Judging by your name you'll probably understand this as I am currently sat with dad watching the Foster and Allen show. He loves it (and me) and loves all the lovely scenery of home (Ireland).

    Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
     
  13. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    220
    North East
    It's funny how my Dad struggles to speak but can sing word perfect to the old tunes. X
     
  14. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    9,327
    Female
    South coast
    Im told its because musical memory is stored in a different place. Whatever the reason, its good to have some communication :)
     
  15. Long-Suffering

    Long-Suffering Registered User

    Jul 6, 2015
    426
    My dad has recently started to enjoy listening to music, but always the same singer. He seems to remember the tune, but generally not the words. Some days he doesn't want to listen, some days he'll listen to part of a song then suddenly want to stop. On good days he can listen to three songs in succession. His mood seems to effect his level of concentration. If he is relaxed, he can stand noise and can concentrate for up to 10 minutes. If he's having a bad day, forget it.

    LS
     

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