1. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    It has surprised me that my husband has not yet lost any expressive or receptive language. In fact he is still fluent in Hindi, Bengali and Urdu too.

    Last night he spent 3 hours with our son, watching football. At one time during the evening, he seemed, according to my son, to `tire`and `switch off`. My son felt his father`s speech became slightly slurred.

    Now I would not notice this. I have poor hearing and even though my husband has a strong accent, I have no problem understanding him. In fact I probably know what he`s going to say before he says it. :)

    I would like to ask those who have experienced their family members` loss of language, if it`s not too painful,

    Is this the beginning of the end [of language]

    Thank you
  2. connie

    connie Registered User

    Mar 7, 2004
    Sylvia, I will share with you a secret. I fell in love with Lionel through his love of language..............he could talk on any subject, not flippantly, but with depth.

    His command of words, his knowledge of the origins of same, just had me memmerised.

    Where did it go? Up until 2 months ago he could still astound me............Now, well every day is different. He mumbles, I try to understand, and so it goes on.

    Sorry, tonight I find it hard. Where did my lovely man go...........is he lost to me forever? certainly he will never 'speak' the same to me again.
  3. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hi Sylvia

    the problem is that when you love someone and have been with them for a long time, speech is but one of the ways you communicate. Touch, 'feelings', vision, expression, moods, are all ways of expanding the communication spectrum.

    as our loved one goes further down the path of their dementia, we unconsciously adjust our communication. It is - to me - a bit like a mixing desk at a recording studio. You turn up one thing, turn back another, to get the result you want. All of this we do automatically.

    Others, even those close, do not have the same range of communication - necessarily. Some do, of course. But those who do not, will notice before we do that something is not quite right. If they draw our attention to it, then we concentrate more and may spot it. Even if we do, we may try to fool ourselves that it is no different because we fear what comes next.

    That's why I keep the diary. If something changes, I note it. If it happens again, I note it. If the change reverts, I note it. In that way I can track, to a degree, what happens. Strangely, it helps me. By taking an analytical approach, I step back just a tiny bit, and it may hurt just a bit less.

    Only time will disclose where you are on the road. It is like walking along a long road that goes up and up. Only when you get to the end and look back can you see where you have been. The shame is the road only goes in one direction. A bump or a dip here or there may seem large, but in the distance you have to travel they may be actually very small.

    Sorry, not being much help here [except maybe to me...:confused: it helps me to think this way]. Day by Day, as Norman says.... Carpe Diem
  4. blue sea

    blue sea Registered User

    Aug 24, 2005
    I don't know that this reply will really help you at all, except to know that others are thinking of you. My father had vascular dementia and it was the language area of the brain that was first affected, in fact, looking back, it happened over many years before any other symptoms presented. The language loss was very gradual, therefore, over about 5 years, until the dementia accelerated over a period of 2 years. Even then he retained some language, right up to having a major stroke, from which he died. He couldn't understand or say a lot by the later stages, even common words, but some habitual phrases stayed, such as comments about the weather. On good days more phrases came back. From looking after dad for part of his illness, I know how very lonely it is to live with someone who cannot communicate very much. However, as Bruce, says, there are many other ways of communicating. Touch becomes so much more important. There is no knowing, as with so much of this illness, if it is the case that your husband is starting to deteriorate with his language, how serious or how fast the regression will be. Hope for the best.

    blue sea
  5. bel

    bel Registered User

    Apr 26, 2006
    loss of language

    sorry sylv
    bobs speech is s--but how ever hard i dont feel its the end
    i do feel its a step closer to loosing him mentaly
    love bel x
  6. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Hello Granny G

    Mum started to lose her speech a few months ago, now she uses made up words to fill the gaps when the proper word escapes her...........about 75% of any sentence!

    Her speech is slurred too and her voice is so much quieter than it used to be too.

    One thing that she still has is the ability to communicate her feelings with a "look"
    I know when she is thinking "what a strange thing to do" or "what does she think she looks like."

    The body language seems to remain and she has "chats" to one of her fellow residents where they seem to understand each other..........but no-one on the staff has managed to crack the code yet.

    Another mystery of this cruel disease.
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Hi Kathleen, that`s interesting. You joined TP a year before me, so although I know there`s no accuracy in comparisons, I still find them noteworthy.

    My husband has lost none of his language, but this `slurring`, my son noticed was news to me. I haven`t noticed it since, but will try to be more aware.

    The quieter voice your mother has, rings bells too. My husband`s voice is quieter and also weaker. Sometimes it`s a bit `shaky`.

    Not mind blowing information I know, just small deteriorations we identify to try to help us understand.

    Thank you
  8. sue38

    sue38 Registered User

    Mar 6, 2007
    Wigan, Lancs
    The language was the first thing to go with my Dad but we didn't take it too seriously and got in to the habit of completing his sentences for him as we knew what he was going to say.

    Some years ago my Dad and I went to Barcelona and met up with 2 of my friends. One of my friends, who hadn't met my Dad before, was in hysterics the whole time as I was constantly filling in the blanks in his speech. She thought we were a great double act. :D I hadn't even realised I was doing it.

    Looking back I think we allowed him to become lazy in his speech. My mum now tries to make him say the word by pretending she doesn't understand him - but this makes him cross. Sometimes I just go along with him, particularly when he is telling a 'funny story'. I laugh along with him even though I haven't the faintest idea what he is going on about. :) Anything for a quiet life.

    My Dad has been diagnosed with VaD with some indication of AD. Is the speech thing more common with VaD or does it depend on which part of the brain is affected? :confused:

  9. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    My Dad has been diagnosed with VaD with some indication of AD. Is the speech thing more common with VaD or does it depend on which part of the brain is affected? :confused:

    This is really what I`m trying to work out Sue. Dhiren doesn`t have VaD, he had no strokes or ITAs, his scan showed brain shrinkage.

    I don`t know whether or not this has been researched, but the TP membership could perhaps do a mini research of its own.

    Not scientific, or even conclusive, but interesting, to me at least and, I hope to others.

    With love
  10. Lila13

    Lila13 Registered User

    Feb 24, 2006
    My mother's speech came and went over the months, (good days and bad days), it was quite clear (to me) the last time I saw her. But I know others thought I was imagining things (another reason for wishing I'd used a tape recorder as much as I did the camera).
  11. DeborahBlythe

    DeborahBlythe Registered User

    Dec 1, 2006
    #11 DeborahBlythe, May 4, 2007
    Last edited: May 4, 2007
    Hello Sylvia, perhaps your husband's slightly slurred speech was due to mild tiredness? My mum's speech becomes a tiny bit slurred when I know she is tiring.
    Yesterday I sat with her for about two and a half hours before and after supper, and she was in really good spirits. She was chattering about this and that and asking me for my opinion. It was lovely although mostly I had no idea what she meant. She would start a sentence but simply be unable to find the right word, so instead she would make a phrase with other words, which had, I suspect, the same sort of feeling or shape to them as the one she wanted.

    I did my best to respond, half-guessing what she was meaning and sometimes completely flummoxed. She started talking about what happened when she was out walking today.. ( She hasn't walked for a year!) Some ladies she met, something happened but the water all went in the right place. No idea what that was about. She was quite cheery. We did talk about her dentures reasonably sensibly for a while. (Does your husband have dentures? Do they fit OK? If not, might explain some slurring.)

    Then she asked me later who my mother was. When I said that she was my mother, she laughed and didn't seem too embarrassed, but she then started to make up a reason for not knowing. " Well I thought I got you out of a box and I had put you back in again" :D Yes mother, quite so.:confused: :eek: :)

    Later the carers came in to attend to her and they were gushing about her lovely smile and saying they bet she had been a stunner when she was bit younger. " I bet you turned a few of the boys heads didn't you?" one of them ventured. " Oh well," she replied modestly. " Mainly I used to tease them, actually". A perfectly well-composed response which had the carers falling about.
    Don't worry too much Sylvia. I suppose I am saying that the communication style and content changes but it is still present, at least in my mum's case, and not always heart-rending. I hope you have many good days ahead, amongst the challenging ones. Love Deborah
  12. DaisyG

    DaisyG Registered User

    Feb 20, 2006
    North West England
    I've noticed a lot more slurring with my husband's speech, more so in the evenings, BUT as yet, 'we' still have full speech.

    He course denies the slurring and the dribbling.

    He has a lot of trouble in 'understanding accents' in other people now.
    Not just foreign, but regional. Watching news is becomming difficult.

    He ALSO says that either THEY or I am not talking clearly.
    Some days are better than others, don't know what that's all about.

    Take Care,

  13. Lonestray

    Lonestray Registered User

    Aug 3, 2006
    First signs of loss

    At the time I didn't know it, but when my wife said "The words wont come out right" must have been the first signal to the loss of speech. That was so many years ago, it's hard to recall when she last spoke, other than to surprise me with a 'yes' some 20 months ago, when I asked her if she would marry me all over again on our 50th ann.
    Nowadays there's no nod for a yes or no, but I can read her eyes and facial expressions. Each day melts into the next, mostly with seeing no one, but I'm happy with my lot as we still have one another.
    The highlight of our weeks is the twice a week shopping. To day at the supermarket was wonderful to see her eyes and facial expression as she watched small children. She was filled with emotion I had to suppress my feelings and give her a hug. It's nice also when people smile at her. I pull the trolly in front of the wheelchair so as I can watch her.
    I'm so lucky to have this time with her, what's gone is done with, now is a special, caring, loving time for me to savour. We are one and for me to see her now, is humbling but makes me love her all the more.
    Sorry if I upset anyone I don't mean to, I understand where most of you are coming from I've been there expecting her to die and it was just as painful. As luck would have it I passed through the worst of it, now I'm at peace. Padraig
  14. Kathleen

    Kathleen Registered User

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Sussex
    Me again, Granny G I describe Mum's "shaky" voice as her old lady voice, it used to appear when she had anxiety attack quite early on, now it is most of the time.

    Mum is only 75 and was very physically fit and active until a couple of years ago, now she looks and sounds 10 years older. She has AD with an element of vascular dementia.

    Mind you, she still says "I'll bop you one" when she thinks I am being cheeky!

  15. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    As my Jan's condition progressed - she was still easily able to live at home with me at the time - she began to have difficulty in filtering sounds.

    For instance, we would be in a cafe with friends, talking. Jan would not join in and when I asked her if anything was wrong, she said that all the noises around her became a babble and she couldn't focus on our conversation because others in the cafe were also talking, cars passed by in the street, the town hall clock would chime - and it all became one to her.

    This also happened when TV was on. Everything became a jumble.

    The brain does a lot of work we never realise it is doing. Filtering sounds, interpreting what the eyes see, providing spatial awareness, controlling taste, controlling appetite.... etc

    It is only when the brain becomes disabled in some way that we notice it is no longer doing [some or all] of these things.
  16. Nicola_UK

    Nicola_UK Registered User

    May 4, 2007
    Bristol, England
    Hello, this is my first posting on this site and just wanted to talk a little about my dad. He is 57 and was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's little over 2 years ago. His speech is practically non-existant, 95% of his speech is a stutter/stammer and by the time he's able to get his words out, he's forgotten what it was he was trying to say in the first place. It's heartbreaking, my mum is at breaking point, I'm exhausted (my eldest child is autistic and very demanding) and wish I could do more than I already do and the rest of the family keep their distance and offer no support whatsoever. Where do we go from here...... God only knows. :confused:
  17. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    SW Scotland
    Hi Nicola

    Welcome to TP. It sounds as if you have a lot of problems to cope with.

    I'm not surprised your mum is at the end of her tether. My husband's speech is badly affected too, and he doesn't understand what I say to him. He can't read or write either. It's so difficult to deal with, besides being very isolating.

    Your dad is very young. What other symptoms does he have?

    I ask because John was diagnosed with Alzheimer's seven years ago, and prescribed AD medication. Now, however, because his language skills have almost gone, but otherwise he is reasonably well, the consultant thinks he may have Primaty Progressive Aphasia. I'm going to give you a link to a website so you can see if it rings any bells. Such rapid loss of speech is not usual with AD, although there are no rules, all cases are different.


    Post again and let us know more about your dad's symptons.

  18. Nell

    Nell Registered User

    Aug 9, 2005
    Mum's speech is still very good. A little slurred when tired - but so is mine!! In fact, my memory of words is SO bad I feel it is worse than her's, so if / when I get AD I expect my speech to be the first thing to go!:eek:

    Mum's main area of deterioration is mobility. She can only walk holding onto something with 2 hands and even then it is a sort of bent over shuffle.

    Dad's speech (before he died) was much worse than Mum's - and he was never formally diagnosed with dementia. But he DID have lots of TIAs - so I wonder if speech loss is greater with VaD, too. ???????????????
  19. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    This is also the story of my life as someone with a severe high frequency hearing loss.
  20. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    That could describe my husband, Kathleen. Same age too. I`m beginning to wonder about vascular dementia, even though it`s never been mentioned by the medics. Skye/Hazel wondered about TIAs, and as he`s diabetic and the GP originally said his memory loss could be caused by circulation problems, it all seems logical.

    Trouble is, it`s all incurable.

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