• 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<.

Speech problems

Dustycat

Registered User
Jul 14, 2014
215
North East
Hi. My Dad has Alzheimers and slowly it is robbing him of the ability to speak. He knows what he wants to say but the words only partly come out. I've asked for a referral to speech and language therapy to see if that helps. I'm interested to know if others have had a similar problem and any tips to help. X
 

Jessbow

Registered User
Mar 1, 2013
3,015
West Hertfordshire
Can he read? Word cards? Even picture cards if not too patronising - depends upon his level of frustration I guess.

If he doesn't realise it could be more difficult.
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,069
North Manchester
He may not be loosing the ability to speak (becoming mute), he may be loosing the ability to verbalise (put thought into words).
If the latter is true you may find that sometime he gives a reply to a common question like saying ' fine thanks,how are you', when asked 'how are you today?'.
There's not much you can do except keep the conversation simple and not change topic, also if you repeat a question don't paraphrase, use exactly the same words.
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
My mother is still just about able to say formula phrases like 'thank you' but if she tries to say anything else it mostly comes out gibberish. I just try to make what I hope are appropriate noises - oh, dear, or, lovely!, etc. Mind you she doesn't often try to say anything much any more - she is 96 with advanced AD. I understand that it is often to be expected in later stages of the disease.
 

Linbrusco

Registered User
Mar 4, 2013
1,611
Auckland...... New Zealand
I care for my Mum who has AD, but my husband also has aphasia resulting from surgery and treatment for a brain tumour 2004/2005. He will either be unable to get out the word he wants, or will mix up his words ( called our daughter Krusty instead of Kirstie ) or if he has a partial sizure he can actually not speak for a good 10 mns or so.
It is more evident when he is tired or stressed.

In the beginnng he was referred to a speech therapist, who first of all told me not to fill in his words for him, and give him the chance to express the words himself.
To think in his mind if possible maybe a picture of the word he was trying to say.
Last resort to write the word, or draw a picture.

I've often thought if his condition worsend and his speech deteriorated, whether it would be worth learning basic sign language?
 

Dustycat

Registered User
Jul 14, 2014
215
North East
Thanks all helpful comments. We will see what speech therapy say. Very strange though that he can sing with no problems. I guess it's similar to a child with a speech impediment. X
 

nitram

Registered User
Apr 6, 2011
20,069
North Manchester
"...Very strange though that he can sing with no problems..."

I assume you mean from memory.

He's not having to construct the sentence, just like the automated response to a common question.

If you start him off can he continue with a nursery rhyme?
 

CJW

Registered User
Sep 22, 2013
212
Is this a recent development or a gradual decline in ability to get the words out? I was panicked when mum started getting stuck for words...but it proved to be temporary and went once a UTI had been sorted. Hope this might be the same for you....
 

Saffie

Registered User
Mar 26, 2011
22,507
Near Southampton
Losing the ability to communicate via speech seems to be quite a common problem of dementia. I'm not too sure what a speech therapist can do to address it rather than general advice re dementia. Some of the problem is not with speech but with the brain being able to assimilate and make sense of the words spoken but the other person. Another is recalling words and also translating a thought or word into speech.

Even simple questions brought garbled responses from my husband and he mixed up yes and no which brought about a number of problems when they were accepted at face value. One was answering no when being asked if he was in pain and it was obvious to anyone who knew the signs that his pain was severe. Also accepting sugar in his drinks when he was an insulin-dependent diabetic for years.
Eventually I had no way of knowing just how much my husband understood and communication via speech broke down completely.
 
Last edited:

Izzy

Volunteer Moderator
Aug 31, 2003
61,800
69
Dundee
What you describe Saffie is more or less how Bill is now. I doubt that a speech therapist could help.


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point mobile app
 

Ladybird23

Registered User
Feb 28, 2014
127
My Dad cannot string a sentence together, gets one word out and that's it. He knows it and gets so frustrated for a second, then forgets everything, then fast asleep.

He can say thank you for coming to see him, or hows your mum and dad, but that is on a good day, and we don't have many of them.
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,101
Suffolk
OH 'loses' words, then doesn't finish the sentence he is trying to say. He also doesn't fully understand what you say ' would you pass me a grape?' And you get a banana, for instance. Also have to face him and use really simple language. Half the time he ignores me/ doesn't understand/ hears something else and I've find it sooooooo frustrating
 

Witzend

Registered User
Aug 29, 2007
4,291
SW London
Thanks all helpful comments. We will see what speech therapy say. Very strange though that he can sing with no problems. I guess it's similar to a child with a speech impediment. X
TBH if it's down to later stage dementia I wouldn't have thought a speech therapist could help. It"s the brain that can't manage the processes any more.

Having said that, FIL had a couple of TIAs early on in his dementia, after which his speech became very garbled and we could barely understand him. But he recovered both times within days.
 

MrsTerryN

Registered User
Dec 17, 2012
769
Mum has had speech issues for some years albeit mild. When she went into the nursing home in may 2014 her speech actually improved and the bulk we could understand. Fast forward to Feb 2015 mum's speech now is that words make sense but not the sentence construction.
Up till recently I could fill in the blanks with mum but even that is slowly disappearing.
Mum is going to be moved ,within the same establishment, to the full dementia ward.
Pretty much due to her speech and lack of comprehension.
The director has told me that mum has wonderful conversations with three people who currently reside in that area of the nursing home when they are out on the bus.
So for mum it is a win situation as she will have conversations again and hopefully not be as frustrated