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How do you control constant talking when they have Alzheimer’s

SuePankhurst

New member
Feb 11, 2020
1
Hi my dad has Alzheimer’s and epilepsy and he is constantly talking and is exhausted but can’t stop. Does anyone knows how to slow him down to stop talking and sleep
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
70,638
Kent
Hello @SuePankhurst

Welcome to the Forum.

If your dad`s constant talking is caused by anxiety there might be some suitable medication his doctor could prescribe.

I was at a bus stop recently. A woman who was with her daughter talked non stop. It was only when I realised the daughter was totally ignoring her mother I assumed it was dementia talking.

I was only waiting for 10 minutes for the bus and found the talking most distracting so can only assume how it is to live with. As you say it must be exhausting for your dad as well as for you.

I hope there is some medical solution for you both.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,695
There may be a sedative but a carehome manager also said that getting to the root of the problem causing anxiety can also be very successful. She did not approve of segregation or drug solutions unless the person was in or causing danger.

Yes, it is very wearing. Remember the childhood stage of what's that? Having told them several times it's a chair, they sat again what's that?
Perhaps parenthood is a training for dementia.

I find that soothing noises and sitting and really listening can calm.
I feel talking constantly is trying to make sense of a world that is becoming more confusing day by day. Just sitting and holding a hand.
When the conversation gets in a loop, I try to distract, suggest something like a drink to break the cycle.

Trouble is that caring for someone with dementia needs more time, training and effort than one person can give.
Many older people talk a lot, it is often a symptom of pure loneliness.
Anxiety causes exhaustion too. Perhaps the talking is a symptom rather than a cause.

Not much help I feel.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,061
Victoria, Australia
My husband talks a lot too, often repeating things or just not understanding that he is interrupting what I may be watching on TV etc. The biggest problem is that quite often he mumbles so even if he is talking sense, I still can't understand what he is saying.

Mostly I tune out and have a great repertoire of hmmmms, ohhhhs, and ahhhs so he just continues to ramble.

I believe that what comes out of his mouth is what is going on inside his head, sort of talking to himself half the time without realizing that he is doing it.

Sorry, no solutions.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
416
My husband talks a lot too, often repeating things or just not understanding that he is interrupting what I may be watching on TV etc. The biggest problem is that quite often he mumbles so even if he is talking sense, I still can't understand what he is saying.

Mostly I tune out and have a great repertoire of hmmmms, ohhhhs, and ahhhs so he just continues to ramble.

I believe that what comes out of his mouth is what is going on inside his head, sort of talking to himself half the time without realizing that he is doing it.

Sorry, no solutions.
One of the many challenges with this particular neurological disease. Before the realisation that this behaviour cannot be helped nor often curbed, l was also prone to just acknowledging the "chatting " with " hmm" and " ah". I once sat on the sofa with my mother and listened to an extraordinary narration, which lasted two and a half hours. Needless to say, l was exhausted. Mother bless her, hardly blinked an eye! So with both repetition and talking we understand that the person cannot change that. But you can change. You either adapt to it and treat it as is - or you carefully " distract" which can be effective. I would gently touch my mother's hand and gaze into her eye and ask " cup of tea?". But you have to ensure that any tactic is not perceived as such! Dementia can recognise a gesture or a slight change of tone and treat it with contempt. The beauty of the Care Home environment is the fact that there can be many " distractions " many of which are fellow residents engaged in their own "narratives " which strangely communicate to those around them - sometimes endearingly..... sometimes antagonistically. Experiment!
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,061
Victoria, Australia
One of the many challenges with this particular neurological disease. Before the realisation that this behaviour cannot be helped nor often curbed, l was also prone to just acknowledging the "chatting " with " hmm" and " ah". I once sat on the sofa with my mother and listened to an extraordinary narration, which lasted two and a half hours. Needless to say, l was exhausted. Mother bless her, hardly blinked an eye! So with both repetition and talking we understand that the person cannot change that. But you can change. You either adapt to it and treat it as is - or you carefully " distract" which can be effective. I would gently touch my mother's hand and gaze into her eye and ask " cup of tea?". But you have to ensure that any tactic is not perceived as such! Dementia can recognise a gesture or a slight change of tone and treat it with contempt. The beauty of the Care Home environment is the fact that there can be many " distractions " many of which are fellow residents engaged in their own "narratives " which strangely communicate to those around them - sometimes endearingly..... sometimes antagonistically. Experiment!
I get your point. Firstly my husband is not in a care home so my situation is quite different.

My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago after three dreadful years before that so I have been coping with him in various phases of this disease for nearly nine years. I was a schoolteacher for many years and have many strategies for coping with awkward children which have been very useful in dealing with him.

Distraction works sometimes but it isn't always successful though there are some who would have you believe otherwise.

I am exhausted, fed up, burnt out and avoid my husband like THE PLAGUE, way past experimenting and definitely past caring.

So our situation is not about my husband but it is all about others who have to live to with the diease, with the odd behaviors, with the demands , the crankiness and the talk is merely a part of all the rest of the garbage. My mental state is in far worse condition than his is but I am not the one with the diease.

So while it is lovely to talk about "the touch of the hand, the gaze into dear mother's eyes while asking if she'd like a cup of tea' that just isn't going to cut it for me. I am so past playing this game, so past playing loving wife , so past mollycoddling him because he is now no more than an annoying lodger who needs a chauffeur.

That is my reality. And no, I am not unkind to him.
 

Hazara8

Registered User
Apr 6, 2015
416
I get your point. Firstly my husband is not in a care home so my situation is quite different.

My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago after three dreadful years before that so I have been coping with him in various phases of this disease for nearly nine years. I was a schoolteacher for many years and have many strategies for coping with awkward children which have been very useful in dealing with him.

Distraction works sometimes but it isn't always successful though there are some who would have you believe otherwise.

I am exhausted, fed up, burnt out and avoid my husband like THE PLAGUE, way past experimenting and definitely past caring.

So our situation is not about my husband but it is all about others who have to live to with the diease, with the odd behaviors, with the demands , the crankiness and the talk is merely a part of all the rest of the garbage. My mental state is in far worse condition than his is but I am not the one with the diease.

So while it is lovely to talk about "the touch of the hand, the gaze into dear mother's eyes while asking if she'd like a cup of tea' that just isn't going to cut it for me. I am so past playing this game, so past playing loving wife , so past mollycoddling him because he is now no more than an annoying lodger who needs a chauffeur.

That is my reality. And no, I am not unkind to him.
That is a very honest and valuable response. When you are one to one as you describe, it is another world in reality and very often virtually impossible to maintain. The Care Home enables 24hr care which is applied by those who are NOT attached in the way we are. That is often much misunderstood even by specialist professionals. All you say is not unknown to me. Trying to get my screaming mother back into the house when even the paramedic l called gave up and then the trauma which followed once secured indoors makes for grim reading. No, your honesty from the heart l hear and greatly respect. We can only bear so much and only you know the depths of anguish and utter exhaustion which underpins the reality you describe.
This is why when people point a finger or apply their "norm" in respect of care and what seems to them to be a lacking of - should take your place, not for a couple of hours, but six months let alone years - then they would adjust their perspective and probably discover that they simply could not cope. Very good of you to share this and much appreciated.
 

Starbright

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
495
I get your point. Firstly my husband is not in a care home so my situation is quite different.

My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago after three dreadful years before that so I have been coping with him in various phases of this disease for nearly nine years. I was a schoolteacher for many years and have many strategies for coping with awkward children which have been very useful in dealing with him.

Distraction works sometimes but it isn't always successful though there are some who would have you believe otherwise.

I am exhausted, fed up, burnt out and avoid my husband like THE PLAGUE, way past experimenting and definitely past caring.

So our situation is not about my husband but it is all about others who have to live to with the diease, with the odd behaviors, with the demands , the crankiness and the talk is merely a part of all the rest of the garbage. My mental state is in far worse condition than his is but I am not the one with the diease.

So while it is lovely to talk about "the touch of the hand, the gaze into dear mother's eyes while asking if she'd like a cup of tea' that just isn't going to cut it for me. I am so past playing this game, so past playing loving wife , so past mollycoddling him because he is now no more than an annoying lodger who needs a chauffeur.

That is my reality. And no, I am not unkind to him.
Oh @Lawson58 ....someone who feels like I feel (( not all the time but a
I get your point. Firstly my husband is not in a care home so my situation is quite different.

My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago after three dreadful years before that so I have been coping with him in various phases of this disease for nearly nine years. I was a schoolteacher for many years and have many strategies for coping with awkward children which have been very useful in dealing with him.

Distraction works sometimes but it isn't always successful though there are some who would have you believe otherwise.

I am exhausted, fed up, burnt out and avoid my husband like THE PLAGUE, way past experimenting and definitely past caring.

So our situation is not about my husband but it is all about others who have to live to with the diease, with the odd behaviors, with the demands , the crankiness and the talk is merely a part of all the rest of the garbage. My mental state is in far worse condition than his is but I am not the one with the diease.

So while it is lovely to talk about "the touch of the hand, the gaze into dear mother's eyes while asking if she'd like a cup of tea' that just isn't going to cut it for me. I am so past playing this game, so past playing loving wife , so past mollycoddling him because he is now no more than an annoying lodger who needs a chauffeur.

That is my reality. And no, I am not unkind to him.
Oh@Lawson58 ...someone who feels as I do. My caring began a dreadful 10 years ago with Encephalitis and shingles and diagnosed 4 years ago..it’s a long hard hard road ...I have been persuaded by family and medics i need some time so my oh is going for a weeks respite next week .....but even that’s hard will they know how he is his likes and dislikes etc etc ....now I feel guilty ....
I do understand all that’s been said-really I do but we are all different as Is are our pwd.
A x
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
165
I get your point. Firstly my husband is not in a care home so my situation is quite different.

My husband was diagnosed almost six years ago after three dreadful years before that so I have been coping with him in various phases of this disease for nearly nine years. I was a schoolteacher for many years and have many strategies for coping with awkward children which have been very useful in dealing with him.

Distraction works sometimes but it isn't always successful though there are some who would have you believe otherwise.

I am exhausted, fed up, burnt out and avoid my husband like THE PLAGUE, way past experimenting and definitely past caring.

So our situation is not about my husband but it is all about others who have to live to with the diease, with the odd behaviors, with the demands , the crankiness and the talk is merely a part of all the rest of the garbage. My mental state is in far worse condition than his is but I am not the one with the diease.

So while it is lovely to talk about "the touch of the hand, the gaze into dear mother's eyes while asking if she'd like a cup of tea' that just isn't going to cut it for me. I am so past playing this game, so past playing loving wife , so past mollycoddling him because he is now no more than an annoying lodger who needs a chauffeur.

That is my reality. And no, I am not unkind to him.
Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who feels that way! I used to read all the suggestions and listen to the experts tell me how I should distract my husband when he was raging about various obsessions. I mostly found that he’d have the cup of tea, or whatever, and then go back to the same rages!! These days, I am coping slightly better, and his medication has eased the problem, but its still not easy when you’re the only one looking after him 24/7, and today I was totally fed up with my lot!! It’s been a tearful day, and I would just love t9 walk away from it all!!
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,061
Victoria, Australia
Glad to hear that I’m not the only one who feels that way! I used to read all the suggestions and listen to the experts tell me how I should distract my husband when he was raging about various obsessions. I mostly found that he’d have the cup of tea, or whatever, and then go back to the same rages!! These days, I am coping slightly better, and his medication has eased the problem, but its still not easy when you’re the only one looking after him 24/7, and today I was totally fed up with my lot!! It’s been a tearful day, and I would just love t9 walk away from it all!!
And you know what? I don't have it as bad as many others on TP and I take my hat off to the others who are trying to cope with all the really rotten stuff that I have yet to experience.

It's the never ending ground hog day and not knowing how much longer he will keep going.. It doesn't help much when his GP makes comments like, "He is so tough. I don't know how he has survived so long,"
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
165
And you know what? I don't have it as bad as many others on TP and I take my hat off to the others who are trying to cope with all the really rotten stuff that I have yet to experience.

It's the never ending ground hog day and not knowing how much longer he will keep going.. It doesn't help much when his GP makes comments like, "He is so tough. I don't know how he has survived so long,"
We seem to be in the same place here. When I read TP, I feel guilty for complaining and feeling sorry for myself!! Others have it much worse, but mostly I hate this life!! I tried to console myself that this can’t go on for too long, and the mental health doctor said it could go on for years!!! Didn’t help!!!
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
405
Oh @Lawson58 ....someone who feels like I feel (( not all the time but a

Oh@Lawson58 ...someone who feels as I do. My caring began a dreadful 10 years ago with Encephalitis and shingles and diagnosed 4 years ago..it’s a long hard hard road ...I have been persuaded by family and medics i need some time so my oh is going for a weeks respite next week .....but even that’s hard will they know how he is his likes and dislikes etc etc ....now I feel guilty ....
I do understand all that’s been said-really I do but we are all different as Is are our pwd.
A x
@Starbright I just wanted to join in the conversation to say try not to feel guilty. My partner will also be going in for his first week of respite week after next and yes I am worried, I don't want him to think I've abandoned him and I worry that he'll get out of his routine and won't find the toilet and all that stuff. But I keep telling myself the staff are professionals who've seen it all before, the care home is like a hotel and it's extremely well equipped with all the latest techy stuff so they get alerted when someone gets out of bed, etc. So I'll tell him he's having a little holiday. Fingers crossed that it works for your husband and my partner - god knows we need a break, especially you after 10 years, mine has only been 4 and a bit but yesterday I could have strangled him!
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
405
There are always others with either less or more difficulties and it's funny how we try to console ourselves that our situation is not as bad as others - I do it all the time, trying to put some perspective on it maybe. Yesterday I read an article about all of the migrants on the border to the US, both sides, thousands of them living in appalling conditions, so I tell myself how lucky I am (and I know I am so lucky in comparison) but dealing with a PWD 24/7 takes a huge mental toll. Again, I know I'm lucky because 3 days a week I can go off to work and leave him with carers or day care. But still the weekend comes and the constant demands and negativity and grumbling to himself and needing to find things for him to do all the time, not having time to do any of the paperwork and housework and washing that's piling up, it all makes for a very stressful weekend. I took him out in the car, which he enjoys but he tends to fall asleep and then he doesn't sleep well at night. When I am at boiling point I take myself off for a little walk, it does help. A friend came round and brought dinner, she's an angel but my piglet complained most of the time, telling her to get out, swearing at her, luckily her dad had dementia so she understands!! So I get complaints that there's no-one to look after him and no one here and then when people do come to visit he's rude to them - you can't win! Forgot this post is about the constant talking - my way of dealing with it is to just let him ramble on and tune out - I'd love to sit patiently and listen and talk and agree with him and I can do it for a short time but it's impossible to do that all day. Also evenings are the worst and I'm just tired by then - so it's TV on, he'll ramble on and I'll try and point him in the direction of what's happening on the TV, usually doesn't work unless it's a nature programme. Hope everyone manages to have a pleasant Sunday, deep breaths.....
 
Last edited:

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,695
One of the many challenges with this particular neurological disease. Before the realisation that this behaviour cannot be helped nor often curbed, l was also prone to just acknowledging the "chatting " with " hmm" and " ah". I once sat on the sofa with my mother and listened to an extraordinary narration, which lasted two and a half hours. Needless to say, l was exhausted. Mother bless her, hardly blinked an eye! So with both repetition and talking we understand that the person cannot change that. But you can change. You either adapt to it and treat it as is - or you carefully " distract" which can be effective. I would gently touch my mother's hand and gaze into her eye and ask " cup of tea?". But you have to ensure that any tactic is not perceived as such! Dementia can recognise a gesture or a slight change of tone and treat it with contempt. The beauty of the Care Home environment is the fact that there can be many " distractions " many of which are fellow residents engaged in their own "narratives " which strangely communicate to those around them - sometimes endearingly..... sometimes antagonistically. Experiment!
Wise words, yes, it is an ever changing process so experiment is the key word.
My husband enjoyed the respite for the many reasons you mentioned.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,695
Oh @Lawson58 ....someone who feels like I feel (( not all the time but a

Oh@Lawson58 ...someone who feels as I do. My caring began a dreadful 10 years ago with Encephalitis and shingles and diagnosed 4 years ago..it’s a long hard hard road ...I have been persuaded by family and medics i need some time so my oh is going for a weeks respite next week .....but even that’s hard will they know how he is his likes and dislikes etc etc ....now I feel guilty ....
I do understand all that’s been said-really I do but we are all different as Is are our pwd.
A x
I sent my husband with outlines of routines, likes and dislikes. But in fact he settled in quite quickly once he realised he had to ask. I was a bit like when sending children to school n first day, I felt concerned but they were fine.
 

Lawson58

Registered User
Aug 1, 2014
2,061
Victoria, Australia
We seem to be in the same place here. When I read TP, I feel guilty for complaining and feeling sorry for myself!! Others have it much worse, but mostly I hate this life!! I tried to console myself that this can’t go on for too long, and the mental health doctor said it could go on for years!!! Didn’t help!!!
I know exactly how you feel. My husband is still high functioning, totally continent and looks after his own personal hygiene and my head keeps trying to tell me that I should be looking on the bright side , that I should be grateful. I haven't quite worked out what I should be grateful about yet. He goes off to play bridge several times a week and is generally having a nice time while I do everything else. In the meantime, I do everything else and spend some time volunteering.

But what I wouldn't do to be flying off somewhere half way round the world, exploring the Fishermen's Bastion in Budapest, rambling round the stone age remains on Dartmoor or learning how to shoot a dart with the Dayak people of Borneo. Sometimes, I feel as if whatever is left inside me is shrivelling up to nothing.
 

Starbright

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
495
@Starbright I just wanted to join in the conversation to say try not to feel guilty. My partner will also be going in for his first week of respite week after next and yes I am worried, I don't want him to think I've abandoned him and I worry that he'll get out of his routine and won't find the toilet and all that stuff. But I keep telling myself the staff are professionals who've seen it all before, the care home is like a hotel and it's extremely well equipped with all the latest techy stuff so they get alerted when someone gets out of bed, etc. So I'll tell him he's having a little holiday. Fingers crossed that it works for your husband and my partner - god knows we need a break, especially you after 10 years, mine has only been 4 and a bit but yesterday I could have strangled him!
@White Rose my husband is ok with going and the care home is small just 15 beds its only a 6 minute walk from our house we were lucky they had a room. I agree with @Lawson58 there are days when I think my head is in a worse place than his and am I being dragged down the same Vas/Alz road as he is ....hopefully not. He’s quite high functioning as they say always been an avid reader though not so many now, as long as he has his newspaper, and tv on sport he can be a happy bunny ...After a stroke 2 years ago his balance is not good so prone to falls ,he gets frustrated and angry .
Fingers Crossed the respite goes well for yours and mine.
 

Starbright

Registered User
Apr 8, 2018
495
I sent my husband with outlines of routines, likes and dislikes. But in fact he settled in quite quickly once he realised he had to ask. I was a bit like when sending children to school n first day, I felt concerned but they were fine.
Hi @AliceA ...thank you that’s a good idea , I will note down the likes and dislikes ..I do think he’ll be ok ,it’s me that’s the problem ....;)
A x
 

White Rose

Registered User
Nov 4, 2018
405
I sent my husband with outlines of routines, likes and dislikes. But in fact he settled in quite quickly once he realised he had to ask. I was a bit like when sending children to school n first day, I felt concerned but they were fine.
The care home gave me a little book to complete with info on the PWD, a good idea. By the way @AliceA I had a read of the sound therapy you mentioned, will be interesting to see if they do more tests. I sent the info to someone I know who has fibromyalgia as it's supposed to help that as well.
 

AliceA

Registered User
May 27, 2016
2,695
The care home gave me a little book to complete with info on the PWD, a good idea. By the way @AliceA I had a read of the sound therapy you mentioned, will be interesting to see if they do more tests. I sent the info to someone I know who has fibromyalgia as it's supposed to help that as well.
Sound interests me. Once I was walking
Hi @AliceA ...thank you that’s a good idea , I will note down the likes and dislikes ..I do think he’ll be ok ,it’s me that’s the problem ....;)
A x
Uncomfortable truth we are always the problem☺