• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Mum's stopped talking, how do I reassure her?

Lainey 127

Registered User
Nov 25, 2012
216
Liverpool UK
Morning to all,
Mum 92, mid stage dementia and being cared for in her own home by my sister and I.
Mum's been a real trooper through her dementia; sure she can be an abusive, aggressive, one woman demolition derby at times but considering all she's going through and her age, she's coped remarkably well.
She hasn't been able to speak for three days now; she just woke up that way one morning. All she can do is grunt and make "Tzzz tzzzz tzzz" noises, and I fear she's hit another milestone down the slippery slope.
She's terrified, you can see the fear written on her face because she can't communicate any more. Sadly Mum is often aware that there's something wrong with her. She used to say "Am I going mad? There's something not right in my head and I can feel it".
My sister and I are praying that it's just another temporary glitch as has happened so many times in the past. A few times we've thought "This is the end" yet she's fought back again; but after three days I'm not so sure.
Any of you got any tips on how we can reassure her and calm her? How to communicate with her if she doesn't regain her speech? We do all that the books and fact sheets suggest, talking in simple sentences and at a slightly slower pace, making sure we're at eye level with her etc. We do our best not to shout!
Thanks all!
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Your poor mum, how worrying and upsetting for you. I haven't come across this yet - my mother talks very little and makes virtually no sense even when she does, but does not seem worried or anxious any more.

However, at an earlier stage when she was still making some sort of sense she would often say she was worried or frightened, though she could never say what of. I would just stroke her hand or give her a cuddle and say there was absolutely nothing to worry about, we were taking care of everything for her, and this did seem to reassure her for the moment.
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,319
East Kent
Sorry to hear about your mum Lainey
I found it horrid when my mum had more awareness and knew she was not right

Talking and stroking are good ways to communicate which will hopefully reassure mum.
 

FifiMo

Registered User
Feb 10, 2010
4,710
Wiltshire
If your mum still has a level of understanding then you could use the thumbs up/thumbs down sign and communicate with her in a way that only requires positive or negative responses.

There are also some symbols that you can download and print off that might help if she was able to point at what she was wanting etc.

Keep your eye on her swallowing too as this is co-ordinated in the same area of the brain as speech is and if the inability to talk is because dementia has damaged that area of the brain then it could start to affect her swallowing too.

It might be worthwhile, given that this was a sudden onset of the problem, asking her GP for an urgent referral to a SALT (Speech and Linguistic Therapist). They are fabulous and if there are things that might help then they will point these out to you.

Fiona
 

Feline

Registered User
Oct 25, 2012
164
East Devon
Morning to all,
Mum 92, mid stage dementia and being cared for in her own home by my sister and I.
Mum's been a real trooper through her dementia; sure she can be an abusive, aggressive, one woman demolition derby at times but considering all she's going through and her age, she's coped remarkably well.
She hasn't been able to speak for three days now; she just woke up that way one morning. All she can do is grunt and make "Tzzz tzzzz tzzz" noises, and I fear she's hit another milestone down the slippery slope.
She's terrified, you can see the fear written on her face because she can't communicate any more. Sadly Mum is often aware that there's something wrong with her. She used to say "Am I going mad? There's something not right in my head and I can feel it".
My sister and I are praying that it's just another temporary glitch as has happened so many times in the past. A few times we've thought "This is the end" yet she's fought back again; but after three days I'm not so sure.
Any of you got any tips on how we can reassure her and calm her? How to communicate with her if she doesn't regain her speech? We do all that the books and fact sheets suggest, talking in simple sentences and at a slightly slower pace, making sure we're at eye level with her etc. We do our best not to shout!
Thanks all!
I am sorry to hear about your Mums speech. As it was so sudden I am wondering if she may have had a stroke during the night, are there any other signs, it might be as well to have her checked by GP. I don't mean to scare you and as you say it may just be another milestone down the slippery slope.
Best wishes.
 

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
114,405
Messages
1,673,713
Members
65,466
Latest member
esmith00