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None of the sounds are intelligible, but most of the time, they sound like very loud laments (wailing, moaning, etc.) Sometimes, it is if she is carrying on a 1-sided conversation, with voice variations that mimic normal speech, except that none of the words can be detected. Most of the time, though, she is lamenting.


She is in mid stage Alzheimer's, and claims to have no physical pain anywhere. Part of that is that she is of the great depression era, when people didn't complain about having pain. She takes great pride in not having pain and often won't say that she has pain, even when she does.


She is declining rapidly and the very loud laments have increased dramatically over the last 3 weeks. They are very disturbing to other people in our household to have her wailing so loudly all night long. Daytime naps also lead to the same loud lamenting.


Occasionally when she wakes up, she is unable to pronounce even basic words. Then after a few minutes, her speech returns to normal, although she can no longer sustain conversation to any normal degree.


Are these vocalizations because the vocal areas of her brain are dying and firing willy-nilly?

As many of you have read in my posts my Husband was pretty much non-verbal the last 6 years of his life. He did however make noise. He would hold a cloth, started with a handkerchief he had always carried in his pocket then he took a napkin from the table, or it could have been the collar of his shirt if he had nothing else. He would chew on the cloth and make noises, sometimes just a humming, sometimes quiet other times pretty loud. (found out if he were watching a sport on TV and the noise level went up, so did his) At first it drove me a bit batty then I realized at some point I would miss that noise. It also gave me a real good idea where he was in a store if he wandered off! People would often come up to us in the store and ask him if he was in pain. I would take the opportunity to explain the Dementia, if a child asked I would ask them if they had friends in school that had Autism and most would say yes. I would explain that like with Autism my husbands brain did not work the way theirs or mine did and he made noises to comfort himself just like someone with Autism might make noises or rock themselves.
And I have to tell you...I do miss the sounds he made. :(

If she is not expressing any pain, scared as if from a dream I probably would not worry. You could mention it to her doctor but I would not subject someone to any scans or other testing that probably would not change a diagnosis or outcome. If my husband had had scans done it may have showed mini strokes but there would have been nothing that could be done, he was beyond any therapy.
Keep her comfortable, there are mouthwashes that can be used to help dry mouth. You could swab her mouth often during the day and before bed to help prevent the dry mouth. But you do not want to use thin liquid type things (water or regular mouthwash) as that might cause an aspiration.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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These sounds are only when she sleeps. Not while awake. She says that she experiences no pain anywhere. her forehead is not scrunched but her mouth is wide open.

I would imagine that her throat would be dry in the morning upon awakening after 12-14 hours of these sounds, but she never asks for anything to drink (or eat). She will accept juice and food when we give it to her, though.

Very strange.
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Ahmijoy Dec 21, 2018
I have to say that my husband (age 68, no dementia) does this as well. He started doing this about a year ago. . He laughs, he cries out, he grunts and “hums”. He swears he doesn’t make any noises He does sleep on his back and that could be a part of it. We did notice,when he started doing it that his speech while he was awake was not the same. We began to wonder if he’d had another stroke, or TIA.

it’s better now but I was very tempted to ask for a CT scan
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My dad also does this and his doctor says it is comforting to him. I do notice he makes these sounds more when he is anxious.
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Reply to Dadscaregiver1
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Wow. If you must live with it I suggest earplugs for everyone and some white noise machines.

I'm so sorry you're going through this.
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Reply to Rabanette
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Your best bet would be an answer from her neurologist.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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So if she is in pain you will see her forehead scrunching up while she is sleeping. This is what I have been told by many medical professionals. Take a look see and see for yourself if this is happening, if she is determined not to be in pain you can add a "vitamin" to her daily regimented to help give her some relief.

I hope you find a solution, this is very troubling to experience.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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If Mom sleeps a lot during the day, she may be only in a “twilight sleep” at night. I know for myself that if I am not quite asleep and not quite awake, I’ll have some pretty upsetting dreams. One of the theories is that Mom might be having anxiety attacks and that causes her to cry out. Have you tried playing a radio on a station with relaxing music? At our daycare, we play special CDs with sleep-time music for the children. Having pain is also a possible explanation, but if she won’t disclose to you if she’s uncomfortable, you can’t force it out of her. The next time you speak with her doctor, ask them for help. They may be able to prescribe something to give her a better quality of sleep.
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My mother did that sor the last 2 years. She suffered with Dementia and other physical problems but she would also count to 100 over and over. She could not explain why she was doing it. She became so debilitated that we had no choice but for her to go to a nursing facility. She could not walk due to RA. She also could talk sometimes but shut down often. She just passed 3 weeks ago from pneumonia from aspiration and other issues. Yelling out is normal for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. Sometimes she was so bad with the yelling out, they would give her something to help her rest (anti-anxiety med). That is all they could do.
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Reply to elaineSC
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My mom went in and out of this type of thing for a year and and about 9 months before she passed away. No body would tell me for certain what was going on...sometimes it was thought to be a UTI and antibiotics were given. The behavior would stop for awhile until the next UTI...sometimes this would happen even after the antibiotics were given. I am still not sure if this was dementia, end or life symptoms on and off for nearly 2 years, or the UTI that caused this. It may be the AZ or you may want to test for a UTI as infections in the elderly can show in this way. I wish you all the best, and hope you can get some answers from her doctor or hospice.
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elaineSC Dec 17, 2018
Katie22, same with my Mom. Sometimes she did have a UTI but most of the time, she did not and it was just part of the dementia. I talked to doctors at the nursing facility and even in the ER. They had no answers. They tried a couple of meds like Depacote, etc but they did not help. Dementia is a mean disease. My Mom passed 3 weeks ago and she is in a better place. She had no life in that condition. She lost her sight which compounded the situation. We did all we could for her. It is pitiful really.
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Somebody explain it please
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