Common Language Problems of Severe-Stage Alzheimer's

As the ability to process language deteriorates, your loved one may experience any of the following communication problems:

  • Speaking a "hidden language:" Unable to conjure up the exact words to express a thought, they may come close. For example, "It's raining" on a sunny day might mean, "I wet my pants."

  • Using singsong: For some people, music and song remain important means of communication. They can't speak, but they can sing, and they use this to "talk" even though the words may be largely nonsensical.

  • Speaking gibberish: The tone is earnest, even animated, but none of the words make sense -- or are real words at all.

  • Going mute: Some people lose the ability to speak at all, or they utter only a handful of words (such as "yes" and "no").

Paula Spencer Scott

Paula Spencer Scott is the author of Surviving Alzheimer's: Practical Tips and Soul-Saving Wisdom for Caregivers and much of the Alzheimer's and caregiving content on Caring. See full bio