Elderly grandfather sings children's sing songs all day.

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I need some help my grandfather/he is also a great grandfather he is in his early 90's, hard of hearing has 2 hearing aids, cleft lip so you have to really listen to understand him, now back in a nursing home, he can no longer care for himself stays in bed all day. About a month ago, just noticed talked when no one was talking to him then he clears his throat and talks again, Christmas Eve '12 he kept repeating the rhyme: Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Moe; Catch a ______ by its toe. I was hoping my young children would not hear the fill in word. My mother kept asking him at least 10 times, What did you say, What are talking about, I just wanted to say leave him alone. Could this be early dementia? He said he didn't even know he was talking. He didn't even know how he got where he was nor any of the people in the room with him. He asked where his bed was, then you can ask him a question and he would answer. I am thankful that he didn't have this issue in the past, but now I just want mother to let it go, whatever it is, she has to let it go. Any idea what this could be?


I suppose this could be a sign of dementia in your grandfather. But not necessarily. Have you ever had an "earworm" -- a phrase or a part of a song or poem that repeats over and over in your brain and drives you nuts? You probably didn't repeat that phrase out loud. But as we get older, sometimes the polite filters fade away. Maybe all that was going on here was an annoying earworm that grandfather said aloud.

I'd be a little more concerned that he didn't seem to know where he was or any of the people in the room. Does that come and go? Did he eventually recognize his daughter, for example?

Whether this is the beginnings of dementia or not, I guess you want to know how to deal with it. If your children hear something you consider inappropriate you can talk to them about it. "Great-grandfather was repeating something he heard as a child. That was not a nice poem/word/song, but he didn't know what he was saying and couldn't help it. Poor great-grandfather. But you do know what you are saying and I don't want to hear you repeating that naughty word." Depending on their ages they might not understand the concept, but they will pick up on your love and respect for the old man, and your standards for them.

I suspect that your mother is a little hard of hearing. She doesn't want to miss any of her father's communication to her, but she really can't understand him sometimes. So she wants it repeated or clarified. I think it would be OK for you to touch her hand, make eye contact, and say softly, "It's just a nonsense rhyme, Mom. He isn't saying anything to us." Have a talk with your mother when the two of you are alone, and decide how to handle this kind of thing in the future.
At his age, let him sing whatever he can remember. Some of the words may be offensive but he is old and I don't think he means to be offensive. I would try to
sing childhood songs without the offensive words that he can remember. Whatever makes him feel secure and happy --let it go. Good love him he is
trying to remember some songs he may have sung or heard 90 yrs ago.
consider using taped songs of old using earphones over grand dads ears so he hears different songs, sings along with them or just listens.
He is in his ninties, let him do what he what and yes not early dementia but probably moderate dementia which is what my mom has, just don't argue and be kind and loving to him
I agree with all these comments. I don't think other people take offence when they hear an old man of his age singing - they'll probably have a smile to themselves as I would. He probably has some form of dementia - God bless him and you and your family.
I would agree to, that this behavior probably indicates some form of dementia, prhaps that comes and goes. Losing the mind's filtering ability, and being unable to regulate what we do and say is very typical of dementia. It's not his fault, and he probably couldn't control it, even if you pointed it out to him. As others have advised, kindness and loving behavior is what he needs. The children should understand with careful explanation.
This started in one day? Get him to a doc. Something is going on! Were any of his meds changed or has he stopped taking something? Look at his pills and count them to check it out. Call his doc.!!!
I have a friend who went back for a second degree to work in music therapy. For some, listening to music from their younger years does great things. Unfortunately, didn't help my mom get more tuned in. Play some different music for him or read some great old poetry that has good rythm to it.

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