Pittsburgh / Allison Park Senior Care Blog

What Are Some of the Most Common Communication Problems a Loved One with Late-stage Alzheimer's Disease Might Have?

By Erin Carll

Home Care in Wexford PA

Communicating well with a loved one who has Alzheimer's disease is one of the biggest frustrations for family caregivers. Because your loved one's brain no longer works the same way, communication no longer works the same way, especially in the later stages of the disease.

Singing Rather than Speaking

For some elderly loved ones with Alzheimer's disease, music and singing make much more sense than the spoken word. This can particularly be true when your loved one is trying to impart information to you. You might find her singing to you instead of responding in her normal speaking voice. Your loved one may have difficulty speaking, but no trouble whatsoever singing to you.

Speaking in Gibberish

Other elderly loved ones who have Alzheimer's disease may find that the language portion of their brains become damaged and they can no longer formulate words and sentences. Your love done might still try to talk to you, but what she actually says can sound more like made-up words and phrases.

Using Odd Phrases to Express Something

Another communication style you might run into with your elderly loved one can include words and phrases that don't seem to make much sense to you, but they do to your elderly loved one. For example, your loved one might not be able to find the phrase to tell you that she needs to use the bathroom, but she might say something unrelated that she associates with going to the bathroom. You might not understand her choices of phrases at first, but gradually as she uses the same ones you may start to associate them with their true meanings.

Not Talking at All

For still other elderly loved ones, Alzheimer's disease can steal their voice completely. Your loved one may only respond occasionally to "yes" and "no" questions or she may not say anything at all. This type of response can make you feel even more disconnected from your elderly loved one, no matter how diligently you try to help her talk with you.

Talk with your loved one's doctors and elder care providers about how to interpret some of your elderly loved one's more common communication issues.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring in-home care in Wexford, PA, please call the caring staff at Home Helpers. Call today (412) 201-0712.