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My husband talks endlessly - I swear he talked for 16 hours yesterday with hardly any break. Not only that but when he gets on a subject, he goes on and on and on. I left the house all day today so I could escape the endless one sided conversation. You can not redirect. I tell him to please stop several times, then "stop" then "shut up". "Shut up" makes him mad and he leaves but comes back 2 minutes later and continues as if nothing has happened. He's nowhere near incompetent, though some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired. He absolutely will not be evaluated. I am beyond done and am either in tears or on the verge of hysterical laughter. Has anyone experienced this?

Yes. My husband did exactly what you’re describing early on in his dementia. He would follow me around & talk and talk and TALK about the same subject, telling the same story to anyone who would listen. It was absolutely maddening. And yes, if you eventually got frustrated and told him to just shut up for five minutes, he’d storm off...and then come back and start talking again. Now he is end stage and barely talks at all, and when he does, it is a sentence of word salad.

just as a side note: When I did take him to the first neurologist for evaluation, his high level of education and ability to smooth talk the doctor and deny he had any problems, paired with the doctor being a sexist prick, resulted in a misdiagnosis & my being told it was “normal aging”. Yeah, a year later when he got himself arrested for erratic behavior, I guess that was “normal aging” too.
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Debstarr53 Mar 23, 2021
Loved the way you worded this. I can appreciate the slight sarcasm.
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Yes it can definitely be a symptom of dementia. Yes, you do need to trick him into being evaluated so that you can deal with the inevitable. Many on this forum have used "therapeutic fibs" to get then to comply with something that they resist but is essential for their own well being. Tell him that Medicare requires an annual physical in order to continue receiving payments. Any story that works will do. Once at the doctor's office present a pre-written note outlining your concerns about his behaviors and memory. Request a test for UTI, just for good measure.

Hopefully he has an assigned PoA. If not, and he gets a medical diagnosis of impairment, this will hinder your ability to legally help him (because in most states he cannot assign a PoA if he isn't of sound mind). Guardianship would be the only other option.

You say he is "nowhere near incompetent" but if you weren't there living with him daily, how would it go for him? My very senior aunt talks non-stop but she has very advanced dementia. I wish you success in getting help for the both of you.
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This may sound weird but does he like to sing? Apparently a different part of the brain is used for music and singing. My Mom, now in final stages of dementia and much quieter, had prattled endlessly. I put on some Glenn Miller music and she began to sing (helps to find music you like too) and it would redirect her.
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Does dementia bring on endless chatter? Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes
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cweissp Mar 21, 2021
Love your answer.
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My mother went through that phase...I thought I was gonna crack up. I took her to ER ...told them she’s having conversations with imaginary people & it is continuous, nonstop!!! Even went through the night...she got very mad if I interrupted her...& said “Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” At hospital, they told me it’s a progression of the disease (dementia) ....so have faith that it’s temporary. My mother now is much quieter & as a result, needs less meds to calm her. Good luck & hugs 🤗
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cweissp Mar 21, 2021
I wish he'd have imaginary conversations. All the conversations are with me - more one sided. He gets on the subject and refused to change it. He'll ask a question and then just keep on going. It really gets bad when he's on a rant because of a perceived slight. Well, maybe more than perceived, he makes suggestions in a demanding way of others then offended when they or I don't take his suggestions.
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Quick lookup says yes, this can be a sign of dementia. Bigger question is what type - dementia is a catch-all phrase that covers a number of cognitive issues.

"He's nowhere near incompetent, though some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired."

That's the fun with dementia - it affects everyone differently. Yes, there are common symptoms and behaviors, but not everyone experiences them all, some play all the hits, some never seem to experience many of them. It's also very dependent on the underlying cause of the cognitive issues. First step is to determine IF he has dementia. Also, a person doesn't just suddenly become incompetent. Usually we notice something that isn't quite right, aka "...some of his decisions lately leave a lot to be desired." To many my mother would seem perfectly normal for an early 90s woman. Spend enough time with her, nope. Trouble with finances was the first obvious sign for me, even though there were much more subtle signs before that, only realized in hindsight. Once we took the car away and I had to provide supplies and/or take her shopping, I realized she was no longer cooking, but rather relying on frozen dinners and boxed stuff. Finding the fresh veggies she bought all shriveled up and over-stock of items like chicken in the freezer clued me in (she was living alone in a condo then.) I also had to have YB take her out one day and clear the place of any/all paperwork - bills, checking info, old statements, old documents, etc. She was digging them out and confusing the hell out of me with some of her statements. Old W2s/1099s were notice that someone died and left her money (it said Death Benefits because it was dad's pension - try to explain that!) Once all the papers were gone, that all stopped.

If your husband's case, this is probably an indication of what part of his brain is affected. For your sanity, can you try earplugs or a headset playing music? Anything to drown him out but not anger him? Meanwhile...

"He absolutely will not be evaluated."

This can be challenging. Never EVER would the "D" word be used around my mother. To her it meant you were "off your rocker", aka crazy. That's NOT what it means, but there was no way to get her to understand that. The only real test ever done was by a nurse who worked for the aide company I was hiring. They sent her to the condo, paid for by Medicare, to do an assessment of mom's needs. Primarily I wanted someone there once/day to check on her and her meds. I lived too far to do daily checks, she sometimes didn't hear the phone, so I could even check that way! The nurse came to the condo and did the test at the kitchen table. Two of us were also there, observing. It was less threatening than having a doctor office do it.

I've read others have been able to set this up through their doctor, rather than going through an aide company, but if they won't order it, you can try various aide companies and see if any would do this (you can say you're thinking of hiring help but need him assessed - we didn't ask for it, they just did it.) IF this testing does indicate cognitive decline, it would be better to be able to narrow down what the underlying cause is. This might be accomplished by just setting up a regular checkup, but discuss with the doctor first, so that s/he can recommend "testing" that might be done to search for the cause. If it's just a "check up", required by Medicare (little fib) and the doc wants some tests done that do NOT mention any dementia to him, maybe they can get it done? Get your own "checkup" and your own "orders" for the same testing, required by Medicare (fib fib fib!!!) It may take some creativity on your part and theirs, but if we can convince them that this is normal checkup stuff, go for it!

Meanwhile, headphone, earplugs and MANY errands to run!
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cweissp Mar 21, 2021
Thank you, I have noticed the increased talking over the last few years. But lately some other things seem to be off. Because I told him during some argument that I didn't trust him, he decided that he no longer wants to be married, which I originally took with relief as I have gone past my limits. After a few days and things settled down I told him I no longer trusted him because and went over some of the things I've seen. He suspects he's cognitively declining, but he's afraid to know by how much. We have our Dr's visits together, I ask the PCP to have he neuro do an evaluation - he sees neuro for restless leg. Long story short he has agreed to see the neuro. Hopefully we can move forward.
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This could be a stroke too. If he can't see where there is something wrong, there is a problem. Tell him your are both going for a Medicare check up. When you make the call tell the receotionist why you are bringing him in. Have a list ready for the doctor and ask the receptionist to have him read it before the apt. This way the doctor knows what questions to ask.
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Non-stop talking may be neurological or it could be psychological. Either way, he definitely needs a doctor's evaluation. Consider creating a journal of symptoms of problems you have noticed. Include dates as much as possible. Let the doctor see your notes prior to his/her evaluation.
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My mother did not have dementia. She lived alone and when she would get in the car with me, she talked non-stop. I survived by timing her silences. I would sneakly (I can't spell suroptiscially, suroptusaly,) look at my watch and time her silences. One time she went 45 seconds before she started talking again. Most of the time she didn't require a response.
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disgustedtoo Mar 24, 2021
surreptitiously?

The living alone probably triggered all the talking... I probably have a tendency to prattle on, because it gets tiresome at home carrying on both sides of the conversation with cats! If they'd just chat with me... :-D

Of course I prefer talking when not home IF the other person talks with me! So I would like a response. I do enough both-sided talking already!
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I am not sure if it's dementia just because someone talks nonstop, but that does worry me. Because my mom has really been talkative as long as I've known her (all my life). Someone mentioned counting the seconds between words. I used to do that with a friend when she would drive us around talking about stuff on the way. Well, mom doesn't drive anymore. She was given a diagnosis of alzhimers dementia maybe 3 years ago before she came to live with me. She talks from the time she is awake in the morning to the time she rests and gets a nap, again from the time she is awake until night time. She talks through movies when we try to watch, but it reminds her of a personal experience so she shares that, and then more ideas. She even talks while she's eating which I consider an unusual talent that is best left to the experts. I have already explained to my family that the day she becomes quieter and we don't hear her so much is going to be the day something is wrong with grandma. I am kind of used to her chatter, since I grew up with her liking to talk a lot. It does get very annoying sometimes. But it also clues me in to what's going on with her, what's bothering her and sometimes I can even try to change her perspective on something that is worrying her. I hate myself if I ever snap at her, but I know I have done that from time to time. The rest of the family: husband, son, and daughters kind of scoot away and avoid her. I know that makes her sad because she feels that they don't love her. I told her that the fact they aren't used to her is more the problem. Anyway, I don't know if the talk will get worse or like some have mentioned become scarce. I just know I will miss her when she does leave for all the ups and downs we have had she is still my mom and a big part of who I am. I hope things get better with your husband.
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