What would cause an Alzheimer's patient to stop talking?

Yatesirvan asked...

why would my little lady stop talking. I been careing for her two years now. She live with me and my family but in a daycare durning the day. I notice in the last six months she wouldnt talk much, Now she just stop talking all together. This worry me.Can you give me some light on this issue?

Expert Answer

Jytte Lokvig, PhD, coaches families and professional caregivers and designs life-enrichment programs and activities for patients with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Her workshops and seminars help caregivers and families create a healthy environment based on dignity and humor. She is the author of Alzheimer's A to Z: A Quick-Reference Guide.

Some people with Alzheimer's develop what's known as aphasia, which makes it difficult for them to pronounce words or make sentences. It's not that unusual that they simply stop talking altogether. In those cases we need to be aware that they may still understand some or much of what they hear.

Human beings have many ways to relate to one another, of which the spoken language is only one. If you watch her body language you should be able to tell how she's feeling. Even if she cannot talk, you should keep talking to her anyway. Tell her stories that she enjoys, talk about things that interest her, read to her and sing to her. Don't be surprised if she's able to sing along with you. I've known people, who had stopped talking except in grunts, who still would sing every word of a familiar song. I've also had people suddenly utter a completely lucid sentence after months of silence. Keep her involved in your household. If she likes that sort of thing, she can still help set the table, fold towels, sort socks or clip coupons.

Remember, what matters most to your friend is to feel safe and loved.