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He is 22 years older than me and he is in his 80's. Does there come a time when I can no longer carry on a regular conversation with him. He is congnitive, and doesn't have anything but COPD. But, it just seems like he is trying to talk with me, but he is just not able to. It is hard to explain. He maybe is able to, just we are not on "the same page". It gets frustrating when I have to explain everything from my point of view, so he gets what we are really talking about. I guess that happens with anyone.

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He may have damage in the temporal lobe, that controls speech, or in the parietal lobe where words combine with thoughts, or in the frontal lobe that controls decision making. You should definitely share this with his doctor, who can refer him to a Neurologist for further testing.
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Thank you for this question and a chance to think a bit about a diffiicult problem. Sounds so frustrating. Sometimes if there is damage from strokes we just have to do the best we can in difficult circumstances. I find that now even when my mother "hears" me she often just hears sounds without meaning. On good days I am empathetic and try to simplify what I am saying, repeat myself quite a bit, and then go for a walk or meditate a bit to help stay centered. On more difficult days I find myself repeating things, louder and louder, thinking she can't hear me. In an ideal world I would always smile, keep things clear and simple, and rely more on nonverbal cues: laughter, hugs, pats on the hand.
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Fancicoffee, this is not normal at any age. He clearly has some cognitive issues that can best be diagnosed by a Neurologist. It could very likely be Parkinson's Lewy Body Dementia or some other disease of the brain. Whatever the case, you should seek immediate medical attention for him for proper diagnosis and treatment....
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I see from your profile that he's had a stroke in the past. Is this a new symptom, the speech difficulty? Get him to the doctor pronto, once you've had a stroke, more strokes are more likely. Find out from the doctor/visiting nurse ehat stroke symptoms are. Take care of yourself, I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this difficulty.
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There may be a speech problem however, some elderly understand what you are saying to them but it takes more time for them to process it and respond. I found asking short direct questions, than not repeating but allowing them several minutes to respond. I found repeating the question too quickly --gums up the brain. They are focusing very hard on your 1st question, repeating it interrupts their ability to formulate a response. When I waited I found I received a good response to the original question. Most of use get impatient waiting but I think waiting is the only thing that works.

If he still is able to read, writing the short question on a sheet of paper, pointing to the question (word by word) if necessary as verbally asking it may also help. However, I read it only once. Letting the elder hold the paper afterword.

Good luck.
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All the above answers to the why of the problem are excellent. However, I will address how it all makes you feel, maybe. I was feeling unloved because my husbands face remained blank and he didn't comment when I mentioned any negative feeling like pain or frustration in me. I finally decided to tell him how it made me feel and to explain that if he could just say "I'm sorry" when he heard me suffering in any way, it would mean so much. It would tell me he is listening and he cares. I explained to him that "I'm sorry" didn't mean he had done anything wrong, but that he cared about how I was feeling. He got it! Now he loves to say it and then we both laugh. I feel loved again and I love him so much more and that makes patience easy.
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My husband had a stroke that damaged his parietal lobe - affecting his ability to speak the words (apraxia). Speech therapy was very helpful until vascular dementia started. That began his inability to communicate (aphasia). I agree with Lizann, patience in all things. Very short questions and let him work on it. You can see on his face, in his eyes if he understood you or not. We tried the written method, it did not work - his dementia was progressing too fast. For us it became a matter of me asking the question while holding his hands and watching his eyes. This became our communication - he would squeeze my hand, or nod, smile and I got my answer. It is not easy, actually heartbreaking, but it's the only way we could manage to "talk" and for me to find out what he wanted, needed and how he felt.
If your husbands difficulties are new get him to his neurologist as fast as you can.
I wish both of you the best.
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Maybe it's just because he's a man.

;-)
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My dad has always been the type that some things go in one ear & out the other with an um hum not unlike the staff at his home that is supposed to be caring for him. They don't have dementia & the male staff do it more often as well, they actually have the nerve to smile & nod as if they are saying yes, then you wait & they walk off ignoring you w/o doing what they nodded to. One ear & out the other, I am telling you is a male affliction of all ages.
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Any husband of 30 years or more has this affliction. I call it "Hard of Listening". The listening circuits of the brain are full, no more data can be saved.
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