"I want pancake . . . bird window . . . let's go now." Seemingly nonsensical speech is a common development in moderate dementia, as language skills become increasingly scrambled. But often, there's logic behind the words that come out.
Here's what happens: An inability to concentrate and to contain a thought in the "holding pen" of immediate memory can make it literally impossible for someone with moderate-stage dementia to finish a thought. The person starts out on one track and then, losing his or her way, zigs or zags to another thought that has popped into mind.
Pay especially close attention to the first words. They may best reflect what the person initially wanted to communicate -- say, pancakes, because he or she is hungry.
Look for related meanings. Often words about water, rain, and showers indicate that the person has to use the bathroom (or has already wet himself or herself).
Look for connections between like objects. "Hairbrush" and "toothbrush" both have bristles, for example, and a fork's tines may seem similar.
SEE ALSO: Find Memory Care Near You