What could be causing my mother to talk out loud to herself?

Glorythreads asked...

My mother (89) talks out loud constantly. She is not addressing anyone, but verbalizing her thoughts and feelings. She denies that she is speaking. She has hearing aides, but that does not seem to change the verbalization. She does not do this when someone is physically in a room with her. Why does this happen, but she denies it is? She takes medications for thyroid, afib, poor circulation in her limbs, uses hearing aides, and has had cataract surgery. The verbalizations occurred prior to any use of medication.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Many people, young and old, talk to themselves when they going through their day. Perhaps she has talked to herself her whole life, so this may not be a new habit for her. You may have never noticed this about her, as she may have mumbled to herself when she was younger, and this is not as noticeable. Now, she is probably talking loudly since she cannot hear herself talking as well. She may not even realize how loud she is talking due to her hearing problems, especially if they are severe. I wouldn't worry too much about this behavior, unless she starts to talk to people that are not there (delusion). Hope this helps!