Voice & Ability to Speak

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by seasong, Mar 5, 2015.

  1. seasong

    seasong Registered User

    Apr 13, 2014
    South East England
    Hello All,

    I was wondering if in your experience AD patients begin to lose their ability to speak and if so, at what stage of the disease this happens. My mum who is in moderate stage has begun speaking in a way that is difficult to understand and I have to ask her to repeat what she says. The words come out unrecognisable sometimes, her voice is different.

    Is this something you have experienced, and if so does this lead to total loss of the ability to speak?

    Many thanks for your input. This journey brings new and horrible challenges every day.
  2. MrsTerryN

    MrsTerryN Registered User

    Dec 17, 2012
    Mum is in moderate to severe area. Her speech 12 months ago was probable 90% intelligible. Contents sometimes left a bit to be desired.
    Fast forward to now, my father has passed away, she has moved into care, also recently moved from general area in nursing home to dementia ward, broken hip last August.
    Mum's speech in general is very poor . On occasions we can have quite good chats but predominantly she has five or six words then no idea what she is saying. Also on good speech day mum can words that make sense but context doesn't.
    Mum does still talk but it is becoming less.
    I agree with the horrible challenges of this disease.
  3. queenquackers

    queenquackers Registered User

    Oct 2, 2013
    Hi seasong,
    My mum isn't too far gone yet, but it's true she does sometimes sound different, and as she keeps forgetting the right words for things, you really need to 'tune in' to her way of thinking to work out what she means. For instance, last November when I was talking to Mum about our plans for Christmas, she started reminiscing about 'going to see the donkeys' at a country park near my grandparents' place - turned out she meant reindeer! (I got there in the end - large mammal associated with Christmas and all that!). Peacocks are now 'big birds'. She is speaking less than she used to, and while I don't know if she'll eventually stop talking altogether, for now it's a matter of keeping calm and using a bit of detective work where necessary to just enjoy what conversation she still has.
  4. Claire

    Claire Registered User

    Mar 31, 2004
    My Mum's speech deteriorated over time. At first it became less intelligible leading to her only being able to utter the odd word, which didn't always seem to be in context. By the end of her life she hardly made a sound. Alzheimer's seems to bring one defeat after another.
  5. AlsoConfused

    AlsoConfused Registered User

    Sep 17, 2010
    I think Mum's fairly late stage dementia (stage 6?). She often doesn't know who family members are, rereads material (eg the headline of a paper) repeatedly because she can't remember seeing it before and is doubly incontinent (has been for at least 12 months, probably several years ... you tend to forget when problems first start).

    Over the last few months, Mum's struggled much more to find words and often doesn't comment or reply to anything said to her.
  6. LYN T

    LYN T Registered User

    Aug 30, 2012
    Brixham Devon
    After a scan which showed that Pete was moderate/low severe his speech started to go. It's different for everyone of course-it depends on what part of the brain is 'tangled'.It's a difficult and frustrating time for everyone. You have my sympathy

    Take care Everyone

    Lyn T XX
  7. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    My mum started to lose her ability to hold a conversation a few months ago. She's probably later stage now. She tries but her words get mixed up. Sometimes she says nothing at all as if she's lost the ability completely.

    Strangely I noticed when she had a recent fall and hit her head she was able to chat with the paramedic and told him what happened in detail. She was chatty at the hospital too and quite lucid. After about 2 hours she gradually lost the power of speech again. She has suffered a couple of seizures too and I've noticed after these she is lucid and chatty then gradually this deteriorates.

    I find it fascinating how this can happen. I wonder if the blood flow to the damaged areas of her brain improve after these incidents?
  8. Dustycat

    Dustycat Registered User

    Jul 14, 2014
    North East
    My Dad has virtually lost his speech in 12 months. He starts a sentence off but can't finish it. It is heartbreaking. Here is a man who was used to very public speaking now unable to utter more than a couple of words. X
  9. Kate and jack

    Kate and jack Registered User

    My mum to is in later stage,she chants now don't know what she goes on about,but the same the occasional word will come out.
    It's weird you say about seizures, my mum has what I thought were mini strokes, a few weeks ago she was able to pick up her cup and eat finger foods ,now she can't ,we have to feed her
    And her mobility has changed also she was walking a little bit ,now she struggles
  10. Anongirl

    Anongirl Registered User

    Aug 8, 2012
    Hi Kate and Jack, mum had a stroke 10 years ago, she's been on medication for seizures since then.

    She wasn't eating well and the care home couldn't get her to take her tablets. She had two seizures within a week of each other and suddenly started eating and accepting tablets again. It was like a switch being flicked. This carried on for several weeks until her fall when she hit her head. Her speech came back for a short time but I couldn't get her to eat at all at the hospital.

    It's like the signals in her brain are affected each time something happens.
  11. BR_ANA

    BR_ANA Registered User

    Jun 27, 2012
    My mother 4 years ago began talking so low that I couldn't understand. (It seemed that she wasn't doing proper pronunciation too). Now she talks just some words. CH staff seems to understand (or imagine) what she is saying. I still have difficulties to understand. (Her words nowadays: no, hi, bye, look).

    So there are a "pronunciation" phase that she can say her name, her former address, her son/daughter/siblings/parents name. However not say it clear. So it can be on initial or moderate (she knows something)

    On severe phase (where talking ability stop. or stage 7), the person doesn't know her name, (and person is usually double incontinent).

    If your mother can repeat what she was talking, it seems for me that she has a long path to severe.

    Sometimes I wish I could put a microphone, record and listen 2 or 3 times on cellphone to try to understand.

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