Dementia Sufferers making sounds rather speaking

Christopher Wood

Registered User
Oct 26, 2023
32
0
Good afternoon Everyone

My mum suffers from Dementia. A new phase has occurred in her journey where she has been making sounds making "mmm" sounds rather than speaking tp both her carer and myself. I am trying to discourage this. Has anyone got any ideas for getting over it or around it.

Regards

Chris
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,669
0
South coast
Hello @Christopher Wood

This usually starts when speech is becoming affected, although sometimes it can be a self-soothing exercise when they are anxious. If its when she is trying to communicate, though, then I suspect it is because speech is breaking down

In what way is it a problem? Is it affecting communication, or is it just plain annoying?
 

Christopher Wood

Registered User
Oct 26, 2023
32
0
Hello @Christopher Wood

This usually starts when speech is becoming affected, although sometimes it can be a self-soothing exercise when they are anxious. If its when she is trying to communicate, though, then I suspect it is because speech is breaking down

In what way is it a problem? Is it affecting communication, or is it just plain annoying?
I view it has a behaviour which I want to discourage as it is affecting communication. I want the communication barriers to be limited as much as possible
 

Dunroamin

Registered User
May 5, 2019
405
0
UK
With respect, it is not what you want to happen, rather it is the curse of dementia. Perhaps try thinking of it as being soothing to your mum. It is something she can do and control for herself
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,295
0
Newcastle
Hi @Christopher Wood

I am afraid that what you want may be of no consequence if your Mum is losing the ability to communicate via speech. It could be, of course, that it is something she is doing for some unknown dementia-driven reason, rather than loss of speech as such. In either case trying to discourage it may be futile. Dementia will take away much more than the ability to speak coherently. Trying to 'disrupt' it seems to me bound to fail and rather pointless. There are other ways of communicating that do not require speech.
 
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canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
24,669
0
South coast
I view it has a behaviour which I want to discourage as it is affecting communication. I want the communication barriers to be limited as much as possible
Does she ever speak words now? Or is this what happens whenever she is trying to communicate? If so, then I doubt that it is a "barrier" to communication - I think this is probably the only way she is able to communicate now. Dementia affects the ability to speak. My OH is almost entirely mute now.

Im afraid that you will not be able to disrupt dementia - it is like trying to hold back the tide
 

Christopher Wood

Registered User
Oct 26, 2023
32
0
Does she ever speak words now? Or is this what happens whenever she is trying to communicate? If so, then I doubt that it is a "barrier" to communication - I think this is probably the only way she is able to communicate now. Dementia affects the ability to speak. My OH is almost entirely mute now.

Im afraid that you will not be able to disrupt dementia - it is like trying to hold back the tide
Hi

She does speak when she wants to. I want to avoid delay the progression for as long as possible Dementia. I feel that by challenging the behaviour is the only way to do this.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
1,918
0
Surrey
My mum can still speak to answer questions but any proper conversation doesn’t happen. I have noticed in the past few months an increase in sighing and other noises, or repeated phrases happening. When I question her I honestly don’t think she is realising she is doing it - I am assuming they might indicate pain or distress but she assures me it’s not so I am concluding its involuntary.

I see what you’re trying to do to hold back progression, but I wonder if this will just frustrate you. A strategy I have tried to use is get ahead of the progression and work around it. So in your case I would be looking at perhaps some laminated pictures indicating responses your mum might be trying to make. Eg pictures of food choices, a thumbs up for yes, thumb down for no etc. In that way whilst she is able you can promote communication but in a way that May circumnavigate the speech difficulty for a while. Everyone is different but for me this has helped me to move more smoothly into each step down and help mum to manage her needs along side.

it is a dreadful disease to witness
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
29,899
0
Bury
Hi

She does speak when she wants to. I want to avoid delay the progression for as long as possible Dementia. I feel that by challenging the behaviour is the only way to do this.
She may want to but cannot construct the sentence.

Taking part in a conversation can be impossible whereas a stock answer like 'OK today thanks' can be easy.

As said evolving coping strategies is a good idea.
 

luggy

Registered User
Jan 25, 2023
178
0
Hi

She does speak when she wants to. I want to avoid delay the progression for as long as possible Dementia. I feel that by challenging the behaviour is the only way to do this.
Hi @Christopher Wood I'm really sorry to hear that your mum has reached the stage in her Dementia where her speech and ability to communicate is beginning to be affected. This is an inevitable part of the progression of this disease and it is not possible to delay or prevent it. You have received some good advice on this thread.

I'm afraid that challenging this behaviour is likely to be counter productive and could make your mum become quite frustrated and distressed.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
1,918
0
Surrey
The other thing I have noted is the massive difference hydration plays in mum’s speech. On days she is dehydrated things are so much worse and more frustrating for her.
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
22,643
0
Southampton
i think maybe its better to just go with the flow. it was stopped you both feeling frustrated. my husband does talk very well. he forgets the right word or may find the wrong word. he sighs a lot like hes bored or fed up but if i ask him if things are ok and why he sighs, he couldnt tell me or is unaware he does it. i think caring for someone with dementia is tiring enough without trying to think of ways that stem the progression or discourage the person from a type of behaviour. its just wasted energy.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
29,899
0
Bury
The other thing I have noted is the massive difference hydration plays in mum’s speech. On days she is dehydrated things are so much worse and more frustrating for her.
Agree, dehydration can cause numerous problems.

A test for hydration is the turgor or pinch test.
Pinch skin on back of hand or finger and see how long it takes to flatten, it should be immediate with young people, as people age the skin losses its elasticity, so trial and error is needed to find what good hydration result is.
 

Bicusnicus

New member
Dec 2, 2023
2
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They forget to drink so need to be reminded.And dehydration is a big issue in nursing homes also not feeding them if they are asleep at their meal times
 

jennifer1967

Registered User
Mar 15, 2020
22,643
0
Southampton
every time a carer goes passed a resident, they need to give them a drink so reminding them its there. if the resident wont wake for dinner, they need to provide food when that person wakes up.
 

SAP

Registered User
Feb 18, 2017
1,097
0
My mum is always reminded to have a drink and there is a pre mixed drink dispenser on her unit so that carers can get a top up for the resident’s easily. If a meal is missed then residents are offered something else later, it’s never a bother and all drinks and meals are recorded.
Mum lost her ability to speak very early on well before her cognitive ability went. We did rather well at finding ways around this but it did mean I was the only one who knew what she was talking about. Anyway , now she has no intelligible language skills but the carers know by her behaviour, her facial expressions and her demeanour what she needs them to know.
 

sdmhred

Registered User
Jan 26, 2022
1,918
0
Surrey
Mum definitely doesn’t drink as much as at home ….but the carers do make an effort and having just read this we have been provided with hot chocolate as the night staff know it’s part of mum’s bedtime routine. …..they also have a cup of soup with both lunch and tea which I am sure is strategic for fluid intake.

I do make sure mum drinks when I visit tho.

I can tell when she’s not drunk enough as she struggles to find her words.
 

northumbrian_k

Volunteer Host
Mar 2, 2017
4,295
0
Newcastle
My wife's care home tries to promote independence and takes a personalised care approach. It becomes harder with the progress of dementia as speech. drinking fluids and eating all become more challenging. In the 4.5 years she has been in the home I have noted how much effort is put into hydration and nutrition for all residents. I don't think that this is out of the ordinary, just what one might expect in any care or nursing home. As @SAP has said, everything is recorded in real time as part of the individual's care plan.
 
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Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
4,223
0
Victoria, Australia
Hi

She does speak when she wants to. I want to avoid delay the progression for as long as possible Dementia. I feel that by challenging the behaviour is the only way to do this.
I have been caring for my husband for 10 years and there are some of us who have been doing it even longer. So we do have a pretty good idea of what you are up against.

You are going to find that trying to challenge dementia is rather like bashing your head against a brick wall, very painful and feels much better when you stop. Sadly, the harder you challenge, the more resistant she may become. Most dementia patients’ favorite word is NO.

You are going to find that the advice given here comes from a wide range of experiences and I think that you need to be a little open to what is being offered.
 

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