How can I keep the communication alive?

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My husband is rapidly losing his verbal skills. He cannot remember or confuses the most basic names for things. I am guessing what he is trying to say by asking him subject related questions. Most of the time he can give me a yes or no to my questions, but I often see his frustration when he finally just waves his hand and is silent. I continue to discuss with him everything but it seems that most of the time he listens but cannot interpret what I have said. What can I do?

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It's good to hear that the suggestions provided positive results, but then again, it would be his own personal will to make an effort to help himself. He may be experiencing some kind of depression due to his limited physical condition, but I still wish that he would be interested and hope for the best for you and him. Good luck
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Thank you, karenlorenzo. After reading your note and exploring the mentioned web site and related aphasia therapy information I thought to try to get my husband interested in regaining his verbal skills.Tried finishing sentences for him and then getting him to repeat the words. Also naming objects, repeating names and recalling names for objects. At first he did it half amused but then quickly refused and became upset. He cannot understand that he needs to make an effort to rebuild his language skills. He is also no longer interested - or capable - in reading anything but headlines and has most of the time lost the understanding of it. There is an aphasia treatment centre about 70 miles from here but I think if he is unwilling to make the effort at home then the program would be useless for him. I will make an appointment with our doctor and get his opinion.
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Aphasia is a medical condition which is usually a result of dementia and can be classified according to type of dementia, you need help from a professional. Seek the aid of a doctor to determine if he really has aphasia and which type of aphasia affects him. There are people in the long-term care industry affected by this disease according to infolongtermcare, and the good news, study shows that it is curable, he just need to undergo some kind of linguistic therapy, in addition, the use of pictures or images helps people with aphasia.
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Alpha3, warm hugs to you! This is so sad and frustrating, for both of you. Loss of verbal expression is related to the dementia.

I know someone who is in the mild early stages of Lewy Body Dementia. I met him for lunch. He talked almost non-stop, about himself. I said a few things about my situation since my husband died. I was not offended or surprised by his apparent ignoring me. I understand his disease and I am just glad he is functioning as well as he is.

A few days later I got an email, reacting to my statements about my situation. And then he said this: "Just wanted to let you know that I was listening. It sometimes takes awhile to sort out what I hear into what is important and act on it. Kinda goes with the program I am in."

I thought this was a remarkable message! He had taken in what I'd said, but it took a long time for him to process it. Wow! So as other posters have said, patience is really a huge asset in communicating with someone who has dementia.

I realize that your situation is different. The fact that your husband is frustrated in not being able to find the words indicates he still has something to say. Giving him plenty of time and helping in ways others here have suggested may help some. Just being there with him and showing your love is helping.

Again, warm hugs to you. This is so hard, and you are doing your best.
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As you can see I have a couple of people dealing with disorders of the brain. It all falls on the caretakers and loved ones. My mother has Alzheimers, and it is getting worse. Our doctor says her brain is getting worse with the dementia. She is 86 years old now, and I have just recently accepted the situation,let's say within the last couple of years. Mom is going through the cycle where her non voluntary motor skills, swallowing will be difficult. Talk with Hospice. Verbal expressions on Mom have faded. She doesn't talk much any more. She said "Thank You when I helped her with her hamburger. My Daughter saw her take the lid off the vanilla milkshake to try to get more out of the paper cup. My daughter told me this. I smiled, mom loved her shake! So, yes, get help. Hospice took Mom off Aricept, Namenda, and other mental pills, along with cholesterol. Our doctor just took her off high blood pressure pills, as we, dr. and me, have chosen to let nature takes her course...... We are still taking Thyroid Pills, as I have learned, the body needs thyroid, and throws everything off.... determine what is best for the both of you. It is very difficult, and hard to accept. Mom has had dementia/Alzheimers for years now and is declining.......She sleeps mostly now at the board and care, but seems comfortable. I take milkshakes to her more often - she loves them. Make your spouse comfortable, happy, and keep in mind, he is still there, so don't diagnose him, smile.......give him treats he likes - that is what counts now. Don't worry too much about his expressions, take him off unnecessary drugs - this you will do with the help of hospice and the geriatrics. If he is not improving value your time with him and keep him happy with treats. Talk to his doctor; what improvements does Reminyl provide? Quality not quantity is what counts....Maybe less drugs will be better? Check with your doctor.
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Thank you all for your very helpful suggestions. Five years after his stroke (8 years ago) he has been diagnosed with vascular dementia and we go for regular appointments to the seniors clinic to see the geriatric psychologist. All I get from there is a prescription for a stronger dose of Reminyl (Galantamine). My husband is now at the strongest dose and still he is sliding away from me. Can't tell you my heartache over this. Is the loss of verbal expression unrelated to the dementia? Is there something the doctors can still do?
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My brother acts this way too when I see him. Most of the time, he loves to talk, and then he laughs. I laugh with him, trying to act like I know what he is saying. I just don't know what the better solution is, to act like I know what he is saying, or just listen, and say it's okay. Patience is a positive, Im sorry that your family is going through this.
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Just yesterday, I was trying to give my mother some legal information she'd asked for. She finally told me that it just wasn't sinking in. We agreed to do it on a different day. Some days, her comprehension is great, other days, it's not. She is losing her verbal skills but she also has a hard time focusing and understanding when the sun isn't out. It's part of her dementia.

If you haven't taken him to the doctor or for other help, you should do that. But in many cases, you'll end up finding that every discussion is just going to take much longer and require more of your patience, sometimes having to take place at another time when the person is feeling a bit better.

Also, here's something to remember - you are still operating at your full speed and capacity. You probably think you're slowing down and being pretty patient, but the other person is possibly slowing down faster than you're adjusting to. In some cases, when the person's comprehension is bad, as my mother's sometimes is, you're not going to succeed repeating yourself, either.
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My husband is rapidly losing his verbal skills. He cannot remember or confuses the most basic names for things. GET HIM IN NOW!!!! CALL DOCTOR NOW!!!
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google caregiver cards - these may help.
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