Not talking much anymore

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Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/25/2011 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Does anyone have suggestions as to how I can encourage my mom to talk? She will blurt out a few words here and there but would never repeat herself when asked. She answers yes and no but not much more. She will not talk on the telephone so she stays mum if she's given the phone. She sometimes will pick up the remote control thinking it's the phone when it rings but does not talk into it nevertheless.

I feel helpless. I just want to be able to communicate with her and have her tell me when she's in pain or need to eat or go to the bathroom.

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/25/2011 9:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Is she in end stage or near? She may NOT be able to communicate. When AD advances the ability for speech flutters away. Words don't make sense anymore - speaking or hearing them.

I'm sorry you are having to see your mother this way. It's rough I know :(
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/25/2011 10:38 PM (GMT -6)   
No she still eats like a horse but need to be fed or else she plays with her food. She can walk but need someone close by because her balance is off. She gets weak in the legs and has fallen down out of the blue and constantly feels the need to pick something off the floor which is when she loses her balance and there is nothing on the floor for her to pick up. You know the old saying if you don't use it, you lose it. I feel that's what's happening with her speech. The longer she stays mum the less she will remember how to talk.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/26/2011 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Bella, my mother in law went through this same stage, and I'm sorry to say that in regards to talking it is the illness itself, and not something you can really bring back. She's at the very end stages of dementia now. She even makes up words for things. She won't eat unless fed because she can't use any utensils anymore. We were told it's okay to let her use her fingers to eat if that's easier for her. I know what a helpless feeling this is; it's horrible to see our loved ones hurting and not being able to do anything about it. Take care.

MT Lady
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Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 969
   Posted 10/26/2011 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   
Dementia, particularly Alzheimer's eventually takes away the ability to do everything, including speech. She may not be able to verbalize, but I do believe they still know us and they still can feel love. Be there for your loved one, let them know you love them and are there for them and they do not have to go through this alone
Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, scoliosis, DDD L1/L2, L3/L4, L5/S1, sciatica, hypothyroidism.

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
I've read experts take on the stages of dementia and the survival rate after each stage. My mom's been like this for the past 5 years so by their estimate she should already have been 10 feet underground by now. So what exactly will cause death for people with dementia? Her doctor said her heart rate is excellent, she has a healthy appetite, and always in a good mood although she refuses to smile for the camera anymore.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Bella, my husband and I were just talking about that last night. His Mom has a pacemaker and artificial heart valves and eats quite well, so we wonder if she might still be alive in the next five years. My Mom on the other hand has a swallowing problem and is down to 75 lbs., but is about in the middle of dementia right now. Guess it depends on the individual.

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Dying in one's sleep would be ideal.

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/26/2011 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Alzheimer's doesn't kill directly but the potential complications can. It's wonderful that your mother is eating great! That in itself speaks volumes. When my gma was at the end, she would just pick at her food and her weight got down to 75lbs (she was only 4' 8") and the doc wanted to put in a feeding tube. I told him that wouldn't be a great idea mainly because she already had a nephrostomy tube (due to bladder cancer) that she kept yanking out. So a feeding tube wouldn't be ideal.

Here is a website that can tell you more about the fatality associated with AD:

www.ehow.com/about_5545404_causes-death-alzheimers-disease.html

You may have to copy and paste the website.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the link. Doesn't look like the causes are any different than normal folks except Dementia patients can't alert you when they don't feel good or where it hurts to get the heads up.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Sherry, interesting about the feeding tube. They asked if we wanted to put one in for my Mom as well, but told me that it didn't extend life any longer, and was definitely not quality of life either. My friend did that for her mother and it was agonizing for her Mom when they put the food in. So many decisions to make some times...it gets overwhelming. Guess that's why it's good to chat with other who are experience the same issues!

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah, the doc didn't think it was a great idea either but he offered it. I had to think of my gma's quality of life. It's tough making health decisions on someones behalf. She also told me once, when she was still lucid, that she never wanted to be hooked up to tubes or life support nor resuscitated so I had to take all that into consideration as well.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Doctors job is to save lives. They don't factor in the human side of the treatment.Yes it will hurt yes it's tough to watch but.... all they care is that their patient is alive. My own doctor had told me to put my mom in a nursing home years ago because in her words "your mom doesn't even know who you are so what difference does it makes who takes care of her now? You need to think about yourself" Spoken like a true doctor. Like to see if her own kids will do just that to her 20 years from now. Here's my 2 cents worth. Don't do anything you wouldn't want done to you. Just because they appear to not be coherent doesn't mean they don't get scared or have fears of abandonment issues. Do what you can to make them feel loved. Everyone will be at peace in the end. Thank you.

Lonie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 6448
   Posted 10/26/2011 12:44 PM (GMT -6)   
That is one thing I tell people; make sure you have a talk with your loved ones to ensure that they have their wishes in your mind.  Even if you have it in writing legally, I found myself that when the time comes, there still is a little jag that makes you not want to make the decision on life or death. This is so tough but I think the last few weeks of watching my Dad in pain has helped me through the grieving process -- I know he is out of pain in a better place. The nurses had to give him some heavy duty meds to take him out of his misery, and I had to give the okay, but knowing what the outcome would be. So hugs to all of the caregivers that are out there reading this. It's a tough go.

Bella33
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 480
   Posted 12/26/2011 5:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Quick update - my mom is talking now. Not making sense most of the time but she's talking. Amen! I adjusted her medication and it seems to be helping. My suggestion to everyone is please do not give up. Research and do what you can. Thank you.

Red_34
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23551
   Posted 12/27/2011 7:10 AM (GMT -6)   
That's great to hear :) Thanks for the update.
SHERRY
Moderator-Allergies/Asthma and Alzheimer's, Co-moderator-UC
Diagnosed Left sided UC in '92 - meds: 6mp, Colazal, Remicade and Bentyl*Unable to tolerate ALL mesalamines*, in '11 diagnosed with IBS, Diverticulosis, Fibromylagia..I also have Sacroiilitis, Scoliosis, Raynauds, OA, PA, Rosacea, Psoriasis, Dry Eye and allergies controlled by Zyrtec and Singular
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