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Talking in rhyme


Registered User
Jan 11, 2010
Cornwall England
Hi folks. Ginna has started to talk in rhyme. Whilst it's quite amusing, (anything that brings a smile to your face has got to be good - right) I just wonder if this is usual. Has anyone else come across this?


Registered User
Sep 27, 2006
I recently met a lady in a care home who was constantly singing. When I listened carefully I noticed that she was singing about things going on around her. It was quite sad to note that none of the carers seemed to have noticed this in the home I was visiting.

It may be one way in which singing, or talking in rhyme is the way to keep a thought long enough in the head to express it.



Registered User
Nov 9, 2009
Hello tonyli, must say have not heard of this, but nothing is surprising is it:D but me and hubby have noticed different voices:rolleyes: my mum in law has vascular dementia and has a strong cockney voice anyway, but of late she has been sounding like the queen! my mum has Alzheimer's and has always been well spoken and now has this lovely south London voice, yes it does bring a smile to your face and can be a fun thing to notice, as long as this is a happy place - can only do good.
Take care
Chris x

Rosie Webros

Registered User
May 8, 2013
Yes Tony, my dad doesn't speak much sense, but on a good day he will recite limericks!!
One in particular:

The boy stood on the burning deck
With a boxful of crackers
Some went off in his pocket
And burnt off both his........................well you can guess the rest!!

I don't know why he remembers this. He used to sing it to make us laugh years ago. For some reason he still remembers it.

And yes, he chants songs and poems but I can't hear what he is saying. Like you say, anything that puts a smile on our faces has got to be good!!

Take care, Rosie xx


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
Now you mention it Ginna is singing quietly to herself. Fascinating how quickly she can find rhymes.
Yes, many people would be unable to find rhymes quickly. What some people with dementia are able to do is impressive but we often fail to acknowledge this because the context is so bizarre. My wife has conversations with imaginary friends every day and, though she has an advantage in that some of the words are more like noises than words, the speed at which the 'dialogue' emerges is sometimes staggering.

We go to a memory cafe at which a guy who had been a theatrical agent used to sing pretty constantly ( and, it has to be said, not very tunefully) 'For all we know':

For all we know we may never meet again
Before you go make this moment sweet again
We won't say "good night" until the last minute
I'll hold out my hand and my heart will be in it

For all we know this may only be a dream
We come and go like a ripple on a stream
So love me tonight; tomorrow was made for some
Tomorrow may never come for all we know

So love me tonight; tomorrow was made for some
Tomorrow may never come for all we know

I cannot hear this song without thinking about him. I feel the song meant something profound for him.


Registered User
Jan 11, 2010
Cornwall England
A new phase

Over the last few weeks Ginna has become much more agitated. She wakes at around 6am and walks round and round the house chattering constantly (and I mean constantly) or sobbing until I manage to get some Lorazepam down her which quietens her down eventually. She refuses to wash and sometimes it takes two or three hours to get her dressed. Our Consultant has visited us frequently and is telling me that Ginna has no real quality of life and while she says that I am doing a good job in looking after her I cannot give her the specialised care that she needs at this time.
She is suggesting that Ginna is admitted to our local psychiatric hospital for a spell where she can be monitored much more closely in the hope that correct medication can be arrived at.
I am scared that she might never come out.
Has anyone experienced this extreme agitation and if so, has a spell in hospital helped matters. We have been together for some 40 years and this will be the first time we will be apart. I am going to find it a terrible strain, God knows how Ginna is going to cope in a strange place without her little dog for comfort.


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
Your distress and anxiety are entirely understandable.

Do you feel that Ginna has no quality of life?

When my wife was going through her most awful time, a psychiatrist, visiting for the first time, used exactly the same words to justify putting her on an anti-psychotic drug even though it carried a risk of stroke and death.

She didn't have the drug and is now, and has been for a long time, mostly calm and content.

You know Ginna best. And remember, this may be a phase that passes.


Registered User
Oct 8, 2012
When my grandad was alive (he had some sort of dementia, but I dont know the specifics), he used to sing the same two songs all the time when I was small. He lost the ability to have a conversation (or talk at all really), when I was too young to notice...... but until the last few years of his life, he would sing "when we were two little boys" and "Que Sera, Sera".

Another thing, although he could not longer write, or draw anything else "to order" - if you asked him to draw a dog, he would trace round his thumb and put an eye in the right place (looks like a labrador on a piece of paper!)


Registered User
Apr 22, 2010
East Hunsbury Northamptonshire
When I was first ill the consultant noticed I had developed a german accent,

Since then its been through lots of different phases but I am back to my lovely Essex girl Estuary accent at the moment!

I can only remember one poem and that is a boy stood on the burning deck one too!

How bizarre is that


Registered User
Oct 14, 2006
I can relate to this ‘Tonyli’ as for some unknown reason it wasn’t until I was diagnosed with dementia that I started to write my poetry, the very strange thing is that prior to that I had never read or even liked poetry, but yes rhyming or maybe also with singing little ditties can be a way we try to remember things... I think it’s a way of the brain trying to compensate for what we are losing! Something else very strange is, why is it that we forget things so quickly and lose a lot of our once memory retention “BUT” why is it I can still remember and recite some quotes of Shakespeare poetry

(Here is a little ditty that’s stuck in my brain) :eek:

The other day in the middle of the night,
Two people with dementia got up to fight,
Back to back they faced each other,
Then drew their swords and shot each other...

Best wishes


Registered User
Jan 11, 2010
Cornwall England
What I did'nt mention

I should have mentioned that I suspected that Ginna's thyroid medication was too high, and that she may be suffering from a U T I. Accordingly I arranged for tests for both and, surprise surprise, she has a U T I and her thyroxin is too high!
Both attended to in the last week and, blow me if this morning she got up, quite calm, took her medication, washed herself thoroughly, and dressed herself.
All I have to do now is fight the consultant.
I appreciate that she may well relapse, but what a joy to see her calm for a few hours so far today.


Registered User
Dec 8, 2011
North West
Great news!

Yes, she may relapse but you'll know what to check first if she does.

You shouldn't have to fight the consultant really, should you? Maybe she should have thought of the various possible reasons for the change in behaviour?


Registered User
Jun 2, 2013
Melbourne, Australia
Well done Tony, and great advice stanleypj, spot on both of you! Tony wouldn't it be wonderful if the consultant had looked at drug and infection issues? Guess when you're a hammer etc.
So pleased Ginna's had a win.


Registered User
Aug 25, 2013
All this I read in this forum is very interesting.

I started reading poetry to my mother during lunch or before sleeping months ago,
and found out that she easily finds a rhyme to end lines whenever it makes sense
(I stop reading when I expect she could continue).
I suppose this is kind of mental gymnastics,

but she is often deeply touched with the beauty of poetry we read,
or we recite while walking or driving our little wheel chair.

She likes music as well - but mostly songs she can understand:
voices must be clear, I choose warm voices,
and I carefully choose optimistic cheerful songs.
I found her sobbing once or twice after listening to some touching verses.

Troubles with my mother started last year, she was 84, after a simple operation went wrong,
and they did not care properly at moments and gave her sedatives to keep her in bed
after she woke up and wanted to go to bathroom, while she was supposed to stay in bed for days,
and aferwards she lost her sight and orientation in space,

while one nurse told me (after I asked them to use mother's cell phone to call me if she becomes restless):
if she is restless at night, we just hum a tune, and she is calm again.
Maybe she taught me to sing to mother and to choose beautiful songs,
I should write her to thank again and again.
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New member
Jun 15, 2019
I have worked in the medical field and nothing surprises me any more.My elderly neighbor rhymes and it is unusual..the last 8 years he has not been himself but refuses help.so thanks for letting me join ..

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