Jabbering - distressing Mother

Mother gets fits of jabbering, during which she's quite aware that she's jabbering and usually follows with "What's happening? Why do I do that?". It's distressing her and stopping her from the few social things she sometimes goes to - today we were all set to go out to a meeting but she had a jabbering session and wouldn't go out because she didn't want people to see her in that state. (She's 92, on Aricept 7 years, was being cared for by my 92-yr-old father till he died suddenly 8 weeks ago, and I'm living here 75 miles from home since then).

The first time it happened was 4 days after the funeral, almost 3 weeks after father died, and I panicked and phoned the GP but it eased off and the GP visited and wasn't unduly worried. Saw her consultant at the memory clinic and played him a recording of it from that morning - mother sitting there being very calm in his office - he puts it down to emotion. It went away a few weeks ago but is happening every day this week. I can't see any mention of this problem of speech disturbance anywhere in what I've read. Has anyone any knowledge or experience of it? SHould I get back to GP or consultant and ask for any advice or whether any medication would stop it happening?

She is never good in the mornings, but by mid-evening is usually cheerful and played Scrabble (not as well as in past but respectably) the other night. Her main problem is memory, and the number of times a day she asks what day it is, panics if can't find diary, gets confused as to who's doing what when, asks again what day it is, etc. Plus "I'm just feeling blotto", and, more recently "I can't think straight, I'm near to tears about it" - a bright lady (Chemistry graduate of 1938!) with awareness that her brain isn't working right. Very distressing.

But spends a lot of time being happy "I'm so glad we moved here when we did", "I'm so glad Harry died suddenly and wasn't an invalid, he'd have hated that", "Isn't that a lovely view", "Aren't these television programmes wonderful" (David Attenborough stuff, occasional winter Olympics, etc).

Sorry, have burbled on about other stuff, but mainly asking about the Jabbering.

Best wishes to you all



Registered User
Aug 18, 2006

She sounds absolutely amazing! I too am glad your Father did not suffer unduly. I would certainly advise a wprd with Mum's GP, obviously the worst part of this is her own distress an awareness. However this might work in your favour as she sounds as if she could understand the issues around dementia and the fact it is an illness and not her "going potty". In the same was as an epileptic has fits so she may have these "jabberings" but if they can be rationalised and put inot perspective she might feel happier? Good luck.

Margaret W

Registered User
Apr 28, 2007
North Derbyshire
Is she still in her own home? Is she generally bored? Now I can jabber for England when I am bored. Anyone who will listen gets it. Otherwise, I am quiet as a mouse. And I don't have dementia (I don't think). With me it is boredom. I miss my dad (who died 5 years ago) and my youngest daughter (who lives 200 miles away) and all those meaningful conversations we used to have between the three of us about politics, religion, racism, sexism, you name it. I am brought to tears just remembering the fun of them. Not the sort of conversation you can have with your next door neighbour. I REALLY DO MISS THOSE CONVERSATIONS when we put the world to rights. If you mum has a good brain (and it sounds so), maybe that stimulation is missing.

I assume she has been diagnosed with Dementia of some sort.

Or maybe her jabbering is rubbish.

Let us know.


Hi Margaret

She's still in her own home - with me and my husband camped out in the spare bedroom since Father died on 23rd December - and perhaps gets bored later in the day but the jabbering is an early morning thing. And it's real unintelligible yabbah-bla-bla speech disturbance, not just wittering on about a topic. And yes, she's got a diagnosis of "probable Alzheimers", previously "unspecified dementia". She's aware of what's going on when she's jabbering - it's like a sort of mega-stammering. All very weird.



Registered User
Feb 28, 2008
Macclesfield, Cheshire
hi there Pam. Your mum sounds like a wonderful lady. Does she have vascular involvement at all? the reason i ask is, about 18 years ago, when i was pregnant, i had a series of weird "babbling" episodes, which we later found out happened because of high blood pressure. they were similar to strokes but had no lasting effect. Each one lasted about 10 minutes and i was completely aware it was happening but could do nothing to stop it. it was a very scary feeling. my words came out all jumbled and nonsensical.

I would suggest that you ask your mums specialist for a referral for a scan of her brain as this may shed some light on what it is and probably what it isnt.
PS> i still get extremely stammery and mix my words up in a stressful situation, noticably so in fact, which appears to be the only lasting symptom (it didnt happen before).


Registered User
Jan 22, 2010
Hi, when you say "jabbering" is it just noise? or random words? Could be an anxiety related thing where she gets so anxious she goes into a little panic attack and then eventually comes around? x

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