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My mum lives in a residential home and makes loud growling noises whenever I leave her and go across the room to speak to another resident. Is this just senility? I find it very upsetting and frightening and am worried that she will be moved to the alzheimers unit.

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Is she living with a man?
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Just tell her. This same situation I had. You could hear her coming from a mile a way. Soft grunts. Constant soft grunts. Very annoying. Its very common in onset dementia. She does it mostly when she's concentrating. Walking cleaning a dish in the sink, writing a letter. I WS going bananas. So I asked her one day . when she was doing it- gram! Do you know you're making a noise right now? She said no. I told her she does it constantly and that it us very annoying. She agreed that it would be annoying to her if she had to listen to it by me. So we just agreed that if I hear her doing it and I can't be in another room or something that I just say - gram! You're doing that thing ! And she stops. Just try talking to them. Probably don't know they're doing it or that its annoying.
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I have to say this post came ironically the first thing I saw in the morning after I was having a real bad day with my patience at the noise factor. I kept trying to get her to stop which is only momentary the reality is it is a futile effort and I should not even bother, and focus on a productive distraction/solution...as I said I know she cannot help it but doesn't make it less of an annoyance....something about the pitch or tone and repetitive pattern?? Anyway a perfect time to come across this. Thank you!
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WOW. When I first read Morissa's post I thought, "Oh, how terrible." and I was curious to see if anyone had heard of such a thing. What a surprise to see how fairly common it is with this disease. I cannot believe what a trying and frustrating thing it must be to go through this noise disruption. My nephew attending college, and coming home for breaks, very frequently wears earplugs to drown out the noise of our household as he is a serious reader who likes things quiet. He says it helps immensely. Some earplugs are very effective, and I think I'd go down this path for some help with these disruptive noises if it was happening around me. I don't think I could stand having it be a constant companion. (the NOISE and growling) Especially all through the night, as was commented on. I can see why the question was asked about whether this may be a possible reason for a move to the ALZ wing, as it could be frightening to some of the other residents who don't understand what is happening? But it sounds as though your Mom is just doing it to show her unhappiness that you are going away from her, and paying attention to someone else? She's not doing it all the time, right? In this case, I am sure you'd have no worries about her being moved because of the growling. Would she understand if you said, "Mom, I'll be right back. Please don't growl when I leave." :-) Don't mean to make light of it, but humor can help almost always!! My heart goes out to you and to all of you experiencing this. It could be right around the corner for me to experience w/ my Mom. We never know what's next. At least, now, I won't be frightened because before reading this....I'd have been worried big time if my Mom started growling.
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It is very trying the noise making....it does drain on your patience! But it is not their intention to irritate/annoy us or sooth us, it is simply them expressing themselves the only way they can. I try to have the tv on as she likes it on and it drowns it out to some point. Music / Ipod are solutions for a temporary break.
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My father-in-law does the same thing. In his case, it can be working up the energy to move in a certain way, a distress call, annoyance, or fear. We have to really pay attention to the tone, his facial expression, and the context to determine which--they all sound very similar. The rest of us find it distressing even when he does not. There is nothing pretty about this nasty disease. I wish you luck and patience dealing with this part of your mom's illness. Hugs to you Morissa!
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Wow, surprised at the nastiness in some posts. The person making the noise doesn't even know they are doing it...as some stated. The noise is not for OUR benefit, it is something the person does. I read somewhere it might be because it is the only sound that person recognizes, their own voice. Of course the sounds can be aggravating sometimes, not all are soft. I think the original post was that noises were frightening...some are, but at least you know who is making the sounds, not like someone outside the door. There was concern the Mom would be moved to alzheimer unit because of the noises. Don't know if noising would be a reason to move her.
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Wow this is so interesting! My 91 year old Mom makes noises and when I ask her if she's ok she looks at me like I am nuts! My husband also hears her, but maybe not as loud as your loved one. You could ask her Dr. If you are worried, but I found the others answers very spot on. I wish you all the best!
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You are right, it is soothing to THEM, not to us..... sometimes it is anxiety, but usually it is just the way it is going to be until something knocks that needle off that record and she ends up doing something else to send you up the wall.... that's like people that are hard of hearing.... and between the loud blasting TV and screaming to be heard.... I am a wreck.... so I sure understand what you are saying.... almost makes us want to give our anxiety meds to THEM and see what happens....... I feel for ya..... other than ear plugs, or just being able to get a break 25 times a day, its going to get on your last nerve.... sending you hugs... I really do understand...
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Feris...you might be able to relax but, it is rude of you to assume that we all can. I am not your child. We are simply seeking help here not a lecture.
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It is not purring or soothing to me! My mom in law makes noises all day and all night long ...whenever she is awake. At times it becomes really loud. Right now for instance she is making noises like a motorcycle starting. At night these noises become incredibly loud. I know that this is a normal thing. I don't have to like it. But, it sure is not soothing to us. She is making animal growls, she chews with her mouth open, she shows her emotions by making sounds instead of talking. She talks. She has lost some of her vocabulary. But, this is driving me crazy. I am on anti anxiety meds to deal with it. They help. I can sit here with her during the day. But, at night when she gets really loud thankfully my husband is home. So, after I make dinner and we eat I go to the other room to get away. That is all we can do. I want her to be safe and comfortable. But, I need to be sane too. I asked her if she knew she was making sounds....she doesn't. So, there really is not a thing we can do?
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yes It is like a purring/soothing to her I am sure, and different intonations as mentioned, it is louder and more abrupt when she is uncomfortable etc...
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Many patients with Alz/dementia make different noises..... they are not aware they are doing it..... I feel sometimes it is a way for them to relax...... just like some people hum to themselves when they are doing things around the house.... and it is also sometimes the only way they can communicate.... as was suggested... just listen to the sound and see if it sounds different at different times... like if she is agitated or if she is simply in her own world.

My last client would make these horrible sounds when I was changing him.... as he could not always communicate.... I would ask him if I was hurting him... he always said no.... but he continued to do it.... who knows.... I know if I was in some of our elders shoes, I would do more than grunting and groaning.... what a horrible thing for any human to have to exist in.....
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Yes, please don't worry about it. It's an easy way to verbalize and it doesn't mean she is unhappy. If she has trouble speaking listen to the intonation. A soft growl can be purr-like and soothing. If she is in distress it can indicate she needs help. You know her better than anyone and once you become accostomed to this manner of expression you will be able read it better. Bless you for all you do for her.
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My momma growls and huffs n puffs, she does have dementia and doesn't talk much. I believe it is her way of vocalizing. It is constant but when I walk in the room there is a direct reaction, acknowledgement growl. I'm not sure why but I beleive it is not unusual for them to make noises like that.
What is your fear? Does she have other issues with memory and self care requiring this move?
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Oh relax! She is just deep breathing. My husband has started doing the same thing. It is not horrible, it is just a sound. And yes, she probably has some dementia at her age.
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