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Please, please, please pull your spousal authority card and stop your kids from pulling him out of the facility and placing him in an apartment with 24/7 caregivers.

You don't say how long your husband has been in the facility but, it takes some people months to adjust to change, especially dementia patients. They will only cause him to lose the acceptance he is gaining by time passing.

Dementia is progressive and they need to do some research about what they are dealing with.

I think that you can talk to your husband, you just can't talk with him. Did you guys have good communication before he got sick? If not, it probably is going to be difficult for you to talk to someone you didn't talk with pre dementia.

I think that reading to them and just chatting about anything and everything is okay and beneficial for the patient. My grannie always responded positively when you smiled as you shared news with her,she didn't have a clue what was being said and she couldn't respond, gibberish occasionally, but, she knew that a smile was a good thing and responded.

I recommend trying to engage him in activities at the facility, bring shareable treats and go meet people. This will help him settle in. I like the idea of hershey kisses and tell people, hi! I wanted to introduce myself and my husband and give you a kiss. People respond to fun and friendly. Help him adjust and keep your kids from isolating him in an apartment.
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Reply to Isthisrealyreal
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Imho, you should still speak to him as periods of lucidity for him may still be present.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Communicate as you would normally do. He can probably still hear and appreciate your voice/words even if he can not reciprocate in the conversation. If you are at a loss for topics, try reading to him: the local news, a book, the Bible...
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Reply to Taarna
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I agree with everyone about communicating with him. You might be able to see a moment when you say something that he can connect with. Go down memory lane with him of things you did together and things that made you both laugh. (Don't use word like (I)remember when ect). You should start of I enjoyed when we went on this trip, went to see...., enjoyed when we did this with the kids/grandkids ect. Or if there are things you need to do around the house let him know what you are doing. If he still can eat let him know what you are making for him to eat. They say when someone is in a coma keep talking to them because they can hear you.

When my husband was in hospice he was unable to communicate. It was just before Christmas and I thought he was going to pass the Sunday/Monday before the holiday. As Christmas became closer I would let him know I wanted him here a little longer. I did not want the grandkids have to relate Christmas with Papa's death. I believed he heard me because he passed away on 12/26/20 @ 1:06am.

The dease has taken over your husband but I believe our loved ones are still some where in there deep down behind the dease. Prayers for you, your husband and family.
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Reply to alzdone
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I speak with my Mom about what's around us. If we're out on the patio at the NH, then about the wind blowing or not. Or the sounds another visiting family is making or that the young kids are running. If we happen to be wearing the same color clothes, I'll mention that. We can't always understand her answers and they don't always make sense, and sometimes she'll just stare. But interaction and non-verbal communicating is very important. P.S.: I tried the music thing, but Mom's not into it; maybe because her hearing is also quite impaired and distorted, so she complains about the "noise".
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Reply to soithought
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I would talk to him. He may not be able to respond and I am sure that it is frustrating for you not to have a response. Don’t let go of hope that he does enjoy hearing you speak to him.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I would advise you to keep talking to him. Talk about childhood memory ties, family reunions, funny stories. On his last days (very small window that I hope you can observe) he will coherently thank you for caring for him. The hospital before discharge to home to die( my Dad also cognitive moment that blew the Doctors whom he trained years earlier) I had pre-scheduled a hair cut at 8am one Saturday and the barber and the nurses told me that it was the funniest encounter they ever had with my Dad; to the point the Barber told me my Dad was not going to die. Then his brain shut back down for real conversation.

bob Morgantown WV
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Reply to CaringSon2
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If it does not overwhelm you or negatively affect you, do continue talking and just talk about anything that enters your head. You will know when you have had enough of this one-way talking and will figure out the next step. You must not give up your life because of his disability - you deserve to live your life. Engage him with video shows or anything that might appeal to his interests and see if that helps him. You will not get back what once was and you need to determine if you are able to deal with that and what the best outcome will be for all.
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Reply to Riley2166
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Continue to talk to your husband. It'll be mostly a monologue on your part, but he can hear you, and he'll know you are there with him. Grandma1954, along with the other posts, have some excellent conversation ideas. I used some of these ideas when talking to my wife when in her final stages of AD (heck, I still talk to her at her graveside). Make yourself a list of topics to serve as your prompt.

Probably the most common side effect of dementia is depression. That can be treated. It is not a reason to move him. Talk to his doctor. The next step in his care plan would not be his own apartment, it would be memory care. 24 hour care would be much more expensive than MC, would create more isolation, and wouldn't offer any social contacts.
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Reply to sjplegacy
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My Husband was 90% non verbal the last 9 years or so of his life.
He made noises and occasionally would say a word but there was NO conversation.
I would talk to him just as I always had. Yes a response would have been nice but often the look in his eyes or a smile on his face was all I needed.
So ...
Talk to him about your day.
If you are taking him out babble on about where you are going and what you will do.
Tell him what the kids are doing
If you have a birdfeeder at home tell him about the birds you have seen.
ANY conversation is fine.

I think the idea of putting him in an apartment with caregivers will isolate him more. In a facility there are more people to try to engage him.
If the idea of an apartment is realistic why not move him back home with the same caregivers round the clock. He will have you as well as the caregivers to keep him engaged. Is he a candidate for Adult Day Care? If so moving him home, going to Day care might be stimulation enough.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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My mother got that way, so I started reading to her. The Bible (she particularly liked Psalms and would smile when I would read them to her), poems she had written, etc. Look through some of his stuff and see if he had any books tucked away he was keeping. Men like Game Warden books, sports books, workshop magazines, etc. My husband subscribes to Handyman magazines and loves a section where people write in things that went wrong and how they fixed them. Most of all, don't stop talking to him or going to see him. You won't ever regret the time you spent doing this and the memories of these times will bring you comfort many, many times.
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Reply to GranJan
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My dad wasn't able to talk except to nod his head yes/no but he seemed to understand what I was saying and listened. So I just talked about the weather, what I had been doing, or sat and watched TV. Just talk as normal but don't ask questions that are complicated. Simple yes or no.
I got used to it.
So it is more talking at him and smiling.
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Reply to Jasmina
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Oh my gosh yes please please continue to talk with him. He may not be verbally able to respond so much but the fact that you are interacting with him means so much. As others have said talk with him about your day what are you plan to do what other family members friends are doing or about memories of the past. Read a book to him sing a song bring him up on current positive events in the newspaper. My gosh yes please talk and interact with him.
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Reply to Sjcjuly
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The part of the brain that is used to create speech can become impaired with stroke or dementia. I had one client who had become unable to speak because of a stroke. But singing a song you know is different than originating a sentence and we discovered he could sing. Ok, not well or clearly, but it obviously made him happy. So we sang all his favorite Golden Oldies together.
Iit's not the same as conversation but it made him feel like he was participating and it was great fun.
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Reply to swanalaka
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Gosh I would talk to pets so it seems normal to talk to a person. They can react, if not verbally. And I agree about music as stated previously.
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Reply to vegaslady
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My husband who had a massive stroke back in 1996, lost his ability to speak but a few words and short sentences. And I am a talker, so over the many years, I just continued to talk with him, share my day, my concerns and whatever else was on my mind. His comprehension got worse over the years, so I know he didn't always understand what I was talking about, but it didn't matter, it just felt good to be able to share with the man I loved.
And even though his words were few, he always knew when I was having a bad day, and he would open his one arm(the other was paralyzed)for me to come get a hug. He gave the best one armed hugs ever.
So the point of my story is, just keep talking to him like you normally would. It doesn't matter if he doesn't respond. He's still part of your life, and can still here you, and still wants to be included in your world. The more you do it, the easier it will become.
Also music can be very powerful when someone has lost their speech, as the music part of our brain is separate from the speech part. You might can try playing some of his favorite music and see what happens.
I remember when my husband first had his stroke and he couldn't speak a word. The speech therapist came into his room in the hospital, and said to me, watch this. She asked my husband to sing the happy birthday song with her, and as she started to sing, he sang right along with her. I was shocked, as up to that point he hadn't been able to speak a word. It was then that I was told that speech and music come from two separate parts of the brain, so again, that might be worth a try as well. I wish you the very best.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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RedVanAnnie Jun 15, 2021
I love how your husband knew when you needed a hug. It must have warmed his heart to able to hug his lady.
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Just curious concerning ur profile. I understand the need for an AL. I don't understand the children thinking that putting Dad is an apartment by himself with 24/7 caregivers is any different than being in a room at an AL with aides caring for him. The depression comes from being in a strange place with strange people not thecAL as such. Will u be living with him? Because u say his "own" apartment.

The cost of round the clock care could be at much as 10k a month and I am basing that on $15 an hour. Then its the cost of the apartment. Lots more expensive than an AL and I don't see where it will solve his problem. He has Dementia. In the early stages he knows something is wrong. Depression is part of the desease. IMO you need to keep him where he is and allow him to adjust. Allow the staff to do the caring.

Now talking to him, just like said. You make the conversation. What I would do was sit with a group of people and hold a conversation with them and bring Mom into it by saying. "Isn't that neat Mom" things like that. At her NH a woman who knew Mom would visit her husband who was non-verbal. We would sit there and talk with both Mom and the husband with us. She would turn to Mom every so often and say "now what do u thing of that Peg". Such a nice lady.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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This is a good time to revert to the time when you had toddlers. Remember when you'd narrate your day with a small child as you went through it? Do that again.

"So, Bob, I thought today I'd go work in the garden and plant some flowers." Take him outside with you, and keep talking -- "These are begonias. I think they'll be red and pink. Do you think they'll look nice?" (Don't expect or worry about the answer.)

Discuss TV programs you watch together, read the newspaper comics out loud or discuss what's in the news, talk about what you'll put on the grocery list or make for dinner -- just practice having conversations. Yes, they're one-sided conversations, but talking to him keeps his mind stimulated.
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Reply to MJ1929
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