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The patient only half-answers questions, never spontaneously says thank you or I love you, never initiates a conversation. The spouse/caregiver feels like s/he is talking to a brick wall, an empty shell....like it's exclusively a one-way conversation. Life can become very lonely at this point in the spouse/caregiver and stroke- vascular dementia patient's relationship. Comments + similar experiences?

I cared for my Husband for 12 years, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. The last 8 years he did not talk much and the last 4 he was non verbal. So I got very little conversation, no "I love you", no thank you......
What I did get was a kiss when I told him I was going to the store, a kiss when I told him I was back, a kiss when I got him into bed at night. He held my hand, he would kiss my fingers, he would smile and sometimes laugh. I knew he loved me, I did not NEED the talk, the I love you, thank you. I had his blue eyes that would twinkle when he saw me, when he kissed me, and I just knew that he loved me.
I found conversations in my support groups, in volunteering for the Hospice that helped me care for him, my dogs are secret holders to lots of conversations and heart breaking thoughts.
Keep a journal that will help you through lots of rough times and it can also be a good way to track ups and downs as well as helping to pinpoint a particular decline. And when your journey is over it will help you reflect back on some of the good times that you may not recall when you stack all the bad along with the good.
And "we" are here to listen and help you through this as well. But do find a good support group where you will find people that are going through the same things you are.
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You said in a previous post that when the therapists come, he speaks with them but as soon as they leave he reverts to being non-verbal. Is this still true? If he’s still seeing them, maybe they could ask him why he won’t speak with you. He obviously has the power to speak but for some reason won’t. Ask his doctor for any suggestions he/she might have about how to approach him so that he will communicate with you.
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