Mumbling... not sure how to handle this? - AgingCare.com

Mumbling... not sure how to handle this?

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I’ve been in the caregiver field for a short time so far and my client has dementia. She mumbles 99% of the time. She is mostly bedridden and when she calls out loudly to me I can understand about half of what she’s saying. When I get in there to see what she needs she mumbles so badly I can only make out one or two words if I’m lucky. Not sure how to handle this. Or how to respond when she’s looking at me expecting me to answer her and I haven’t a clue what she said.

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When you can, post something on your profile about ur patient. It helps us to help u.

There 's more here than dementia if she is bed bound. Did she have a stroke? If so, she may not be able to talk. Who is paying you for her care? Family? Is there someone you can question about her health history. Maybe some speech therapy will help her.

Put in search "Talking Boards for Stroke Victims" Here is what I found.

https://www.hopkinsmedicalproducts.com/images/xxl/Picture-Communication-Board.jpg

This way she can point to what she needs. There r some sophisticated ones but they are pricy. Maybe you can put one together cutting out pictures from a magazine. It has to be as frustrating for her as it is for you.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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Sometimes, I think we can try to anticipate what may be the matter, while keeping in mind that with dementia, the patient's mind may be making them make sounds that are not really understandable. She may not even realize what she is saying herself. So, I'd try not to stress over this. You might check to see if she's wet or needs changing. If it's been awhile since her meal, offer a snack or beverage. Adjust her position in bed or rearrange her pillows to make her more comfortable. If her skin is cool, put on another blanket, if hot, adjust accordingly. Maybe, she's bored, turn on some music or read to her. Just try to cover all the potential things. You might even say outloud, I'm not sure what you want, but, I'll do my best to help you. So, if she does understand, that will give her comfort.

You might discuss it with her doctor too, to rule out any pain that she could have that she is not able to communicate about.

You might also check out online videos by Teepa Snow on dementia. She has a method of how you can hold the patients hand and touch their arm in order to get an idea of how they are feeling and if they are in pain, if their communication is not good. I'm not that familiar with it, but, recall seeing it on You Tube. She has a lot of suggestions for helping understand and manage care.
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Reply to Sunnygirl1
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Even those who speak clearly sometimes can't find the right words, can't articulate what it is they want or just don't make sense. With my mom it was that she would call but not know what was wrong when I got there so I went through my list of things she might need - are you in pain... and where? hungry? thirsty? need repositioning? need changing? want the radio on? want to get up? etc etc
Sometimes we just couldn't figure it out so I did what I could to comfort her and sometimes it was part of her pattern of anxiety and dementia to call repeatedly for no reason.
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Reply to cwillie
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Does she have an illness that would cause this mumbling? Something with her speech or vocal chords?

Does she have dementia?

I suppose the reason doesn't matter since if her mumbling is the symptom of something medical it's probably not something you can fix.

I wonder how long you've been working with her. Maybe you can get used to her mumbling and begin to understand her.

You're only other recourse is to ask her to repeat herself which I know can be tedious for you and annoying for her but you have to know what she needs. If sh's lucid explain to her that you're having difficulty understanding her and ask her if she can speak more clearly. You have to be able to understand her so she can communicate her needs to you.
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Reply to Eyerishlass
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Karner 24 min ago
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