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MIL has pretty involved aphasia. She recognizes everyone but can rarely get a name right. Cannot handle or count money at all. Still knows when she wants to do laundry and clean, but cannot operate any appliance.


Cannot read much and writing is nearly impossible.


There are also balance issues and quite a large weight loss over the last 2 to 3 years. We have been told it's "dementia." No type has been identified. She is now living with us due to FIL's inability to accept her new limitations. Any thoughts as to what type of dementia this is? Is this Alzheimer's disease?


Thanks for any input.

As far as we know she has never had a stroke. I do recall quite awhile back (years) she had part of her face go numb. At the time she was told it was some kind of neuralgia. But no strokes. I appreciate these responses. After nearly a year of living together I am much better at discerning what she is trying to say. And yes, she finds it very frustrating.
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Reply to Arlyle
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I don’t think it’s Alzheimer’s but the residual effects of her stroke.
Can she get words out or with great difficulty? Sometimes if her doctors feel that she may improve somewhat speech therapy is a good option. It gives the person exercises they can continue to do using their oral muscles after the speech therapy sessions end. The therapist can teach family how to work with those patients and keep it going at home.

Otherwise if she can’t get the words out and it frustrates her so much she gets short and just quits, try to type out a list of the most common words or glue pictures of vegetables and foods on a sheet of paper as well that she might be trying to say and present the list to her to point to the word/image.

After a while you may get used to her and be able to finish what she wants to say but can’t manage to verbalize.

Also do do an internet search for puzzles or games specific for those with post CVA aphasia. They may keep her mind working.

Imagine how frustrating it must be to knowing what you want to say and not being able to say it. But from being a nurse who has cared for those type of patients, it can be just as frustrating for the person taking care of them. Unfortunately we’re not perfect so don’t guilt yourself if you lose patience waiting for her to formulate the word or not understanding what she is trying to say.

This is definitely challenging for both you and she. Patience & time should help.
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Reply to Shane1124
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My older sister, now aged 75, had a stroke at 28 that produced aphasia and of course paralysed her RHS hand and arm – but not her brain!. She has continued to work as an accountant all this time, and now continues it because it is something she can do without physical limitations (she is now in a wheelchair). She learned after a few years to type left handed on the computer etc and write her name with her left hand. We have learned to be patient when she is groping for a word, including names, and to guess but not too soon. She has improved a great deal over the last 40+ years. All I can suggest is lots of patience and lots of smiles.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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Aphasia (loss of speech) can be caused by stroke, head injury, infection and many types of dementia.  If she is not hallucinating or combative, I doubt that it is Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.   Remember now, touch and eye contact are very important.  My good friend Harold lost his powers of speech but a good hug and a kiss would always brighten his day.  You can read a lot in a person's eyes even if they can't talk.  Bless you for caring.
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Reply to pamstegma
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