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During normal conversation, Mom is still remarkably articulate despite her other deficits. However, for years now, even before her Alz diagnosis, Mom has had episodes of random muttering. It often occurs after a conversation comes to a close; then she will walk away muttering unintelligible stuff. I can't make any sense of it but haven't drawn her attention to it because I don't want to embarrass her. It almost sounds like a continuation of our conversation, perhaps things she wanted to say but didn't, but I can't be sure. Is this a component of her dementia or just a quirk?

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It can be considered a tic. It's something the person usually grows out of.
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Great thoughts and suggestions, all. Maybe when this happens they're just trying to "think out loud," over the confusion in their head. And maybe I will ask "what was that, Mom?" the next time she does it. The reason I asked is Mom never talked to herself until the dementia set in, and wondered if other caretakers had witnessed or heard the same behavior.
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When she mutters do you ask her what she is saying? You know, "what was that, mom?" If she doesn't answer you, or doesn't remember, it might be dementia. If she is aware, maybe she is just grumbling, older people do that.
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Who knows. My mom with dementia has talked to herself for years - I mean complete conversations with someone. She stops when she sees me. It's hard to say. Some people tell me she talks to herself because she has been alone for a long time; others tell me its the dementia since many times she is engaged with someone even though no one is there.

I participated in a virtual dementia tour - it is supposed to let you experience what having dementia is like. You are basically given a few simple tasks and mentally are confused by noises from headphones, limited vision -goggles etc. and many distractions. During the tour, I noticed my husband acted a lot like my mom: repeating himself, going over things that were just discussed etc. I think in their demented state - their mind is so confused that maybe she is just going over things in her head to reconfirm.

Just a thought.
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She can be talking to someone no longer there - there is nothing to worry about. I told my dad to continue talking to my mother long after she passed. It keeps some 'normalcy' in their lives. I know, some will disagree with me, but my father always knew my mother had passed - but it did provide some comfort. I know for fact I will be doing this after my DH passes.
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My foster dad used to talk to himself an awful lot, this was a habit for him and he always muttered under his breath especially when he was upset. It just so happened that he developed dementia so this could also be part of the dementia as well as part of who the person was before the dementia. What I'm saying is the door swings both ways
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heleninca,

I hear you. It must be so traumatizing to adjust to a dementia diagnosis.

Since we placed her in MC, I've taken Mom out for many excursions to "get her out," get her mind off her misery, to offer a few hours of pleasure. She seems to enjoy these excursions "in the moment" but later never recalls them, accusing me of neglect. I've had many conversations with Mom, on the phone and in person, too, allowing her to vent, express herself, and complain, always treating her with dignity. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, the phone calls, visits and excursions seem to stoke her anger, even though she seems to want these contacts. I think that in making myself available to Mom I trigger memories of all that she has lost: control, not only of her own life but the lives of others; her autonomy, her former home of 30 years where she reigned with queen-like authority. I'm not sure allowing her to vent and complain is good. All it seems to do is form new memories of discontent. Still, she cannot adjust to MC and my thinking now is that I can help her more by backing away, at least for awhile, until she regards MC as her new home.

I've come to realize my best intentions and instincts may not always be the best.
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being old and on the verge myself i believe just hanging with people my age that when we have to give up some of our independence some resentment will build and to be able to speak to people on an equal level releases this a bit and helps relieve our stress. you are probably helping her and she wishes she did not need it but accepts what is inevitable and one way to release if you do not give her that opportunity by talking to her with respect and acknowledging what she has to live with until she dies she will continue this until she cannot ... i find the people at my senior center let me feel connected they send a bus for me if in can't drive and get me out of what could be a prison cell like feeling of being trapped.
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If it is a quirk, just ignore it. It doesn't seem to be doing any harm.

If it is related to her dementia, just ignore it. Other symptoms are more worthy of concern.
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