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My mother has advanced alzheimers. She cannot walk, cannot feed herself, has no control of her bladder and bowels, cannot verbilize - she just mumbles. Just recently, she seems to be trying really, really hard to say something, but just can get it out. Also, her mumbling is now so low, you can barely hear her. It this alzheimer related?

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patience....hard to wait for words
coaching...anticipate words, needs
kindness...tell her you understand the difficult time she is having
hugs,,,say a lot
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PS My problem with my mom is she never sleeps! lol
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My Mom lives with me and is the same,cannot speak, incontinent, and cannot walk, and has swallowing problems. She has been like this for over three years so I cant call it the last stage. I read the last stage is when they cant smile anymore. I pretend I know what she is saying most of the time. Sometimes I say, " Oh ok I will take care of everything, you dont have to worry about a thing, I am here for you, dont you worry about a thing!" and she will smile. She could never point to a cup or anything, objects dont mean anything to her and she can barely see. My Mom is happy though, I can make her laugh and make her hands and legs go to music. Her mood changes back and forth from solemn to happy. I have to pick the right time to communicate with her. Singing to her is how she understands me more. I was told they listen to music through a different part of the brain. I sing what I want to say to her sometimes, usually when she is in bed and I sing how I love her and how she is the best mom ever. I sing how I loved the special things for me as a kid like having hot cookies on the counter every rainy or snowy day I came home from school, etc and she has a smile ear to ear. I know its tough, its horrible, but it doesnt mean they are a pitiful case or should be in any way sad. I have a hoyer lift and take her on vacations with us at her former cottage house she lived in. Although she cannot talk, she is happywhen there. I could not understand it, I was then told its probably the smell she loves, sweet!
Do your best, sing, and tell her things you "think" she wants to hear and pretend you understand her. Most of all tell her that you love living together and how you love taking care of her (even thou there is no harder job in the world). Good luck
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I'm sorry auburnlady - I watched my step-father go through this phase and it is very sad. Is she at home or in a NH? My step dad was in a NH at this stage and they were very good at keeping him comfortable and pain free until he passed.
God bless you and your mom.
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It could be the progression of the dementia that is causing her issues with speech. You could try a word or a picture board or flashcards, but don't be disappointed if she is unable to communicate. That doesn't mean you have to stop talking to her. Read to her, discuss funny stories or past events that she would enjoy. Hold her hand, brush her hair or paint her nails, do anything that gives her comfort. My grandmother has Alzheimer's and it is difficult to watch and our loved ones slowly lose function. You can still feel that closeness if you continue to speak to her.
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All this has me thinking. Dad is still OK with a lot, but I'm going to start taking pictures of things like his coffee cup filled with coffee, his favorite cookies and things like that. If we get to this point, I can print the photos and maybe that would help with communication.
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You are a special woman, NotHisFault.
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AuburnLady - My husband is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's as well (cannot stand or walk, cannot feed himself, incontinent of both bladder and bowel, confined to a hospital bed at home, eats very little, cannot verbalize, etc.). What you describe is definitely Alzheimer's-related. The thing I do when he mumbles like he's trying to say something - I act like I know what he's saying and keep the conversation going. I take a guess at something he might want to talk about - and just keep talking. I'll ask him questions (and then I'll go ahead and answer them), I chuckle, smile and let him know how much he's loved. Maybe this is more for my benefit than his, but I think it also makes him feel a part of the conversation. And it helps when I'm spending time with him so I'm not just sitting next to his hospital bed watching TV.
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It is so sad when an alzy can't speak, can't communicate. My husband was diagnosed about 5.5 years ago (6.5 when I noticed problems with his words). His speech was the first thing to go. In maybe 2 years, no communication. Some hums and noises, I called it noising. He could never let me know if he was in pain, even by his body movements, or if he wanted or needed anything, not even a head shake or nod. It is so hard and frustrating. I feel your pain. I am sorry I have nothing positive to say, no helpful suggestions. My prayers are with you.
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I would suggest some photos like of a cup, so she can point to it for a drink, or food. words at this stage are probably nothing more than a squiggle, and Ive heard that drawings can also be hard for them to re-identify. That might allow any needs to be attended to. I cared for a lady who had been in a catatonic type state for many years, and could fully understand that she had no visitors, she did constant mumbles when we were in the room attending to her. One bright moment that would occur occasionally was when the carer who was always singing [and had a good voice] had a special song that she would sing, amazingly this lady would then sing back with her, and smile and then give eye contact. and then often giggle away, but slip back to the frozen body state minutes later. There was a carer that reported that she had been hit by this same woman and got a black eye, so somehow despite being unable to move from the locked state for over 5yrs, could still give a right hook, when provoked. So guard your comments, hum/sing if you can, and also realise that not all the words being mumbled actually mean something, its just like the speech centre is disconnected and doing its own thing, but then again it might , so watch for other signs of communication
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It helped me and I wonder if it will help your mother. I am currently on my third dose of Umac-Core phytoplankton that comes in liquid and gel caps that has helped me speak better. It's not expensive. The thing that impressed me was a mother who talks about her experience with phytoplankton, and what happened after a couple of years of searching, when she gave it to her child that drowned. The little girl was unconscious for about an hour, but then resuscitated, leaving her in a wheel chair and blind –She can now see and has her memory back.
For $25 I suspect it may also help your mother to speak. It helped me. I bought mine on Amazon.
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I have Bulbar onset ALS and the first thing it takes away is your voice and interferes with your swallowing. Because I had learned ASL finger spelling in my it too three days to perfect it as an adult. Because my son had leaned it in his youth I can now communicate with him. And my daughter, who is going to take care for me when I no can is also learning ASL finger spell. It is backup system of communication that can come in handy in a variety of situations, including communicating with deaf people. If everybody learned finger spelling we could all be communicative when voice is a problem. I realize that with Alzheimers your mother is not going to learn ASL finger spelling. I'm just saying that if she had she may be communicating you now.
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I dont know about understanding so much except pointing..but ive had great results with me asking them to do something like sit or stand by singing the request. The part of the brain i was told after someone seeing me do.this
Is the frontal lobe.least.affected by alzheimers. Ive worked with many in my past. And find.they dont.like change even if.its a chair moved.
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Yes, and she is in the last stages of this horrible disease. Just talk to her with your eyes, hold her hand and love her to the end. My best wishes.
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My wife who has alzheimers also tries to speak to me and I also agree to everything she tries to relate to. I can tell by her facial expressions if they are good thoughts or bad. It's so very had but at least we can try.
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Do you think she could point to words or letters?
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auburnlady, it is painful to watch the changes they go through. I knew a lady in late stage Alzheimer's who couldn't speak on her own, but would echo the words we would say to her. It let me know that she heard us, but couldn't respond. I've heard of others who were unable to speak at all. I don't know what they might be thinking, but like to think they are communicating with us the best they can. Big hugs to you. I know how hard it is.
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