Nonstop talking... any ideas?


My Dad was always a quiet person. Now he never stops talking. I try to change subject but it doesn't work.

Any ideas?

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My mom's table mate at the nursing home does this, an endless loop of semi nonsensical chatter that can't be called conversation and is almost impossible to respond to - I'm only exposed to it over the dinner hour but some days I have to excuse myself to get away for a few minutes, you have my sympathy.
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Reply to cwillie

My thought is LJ enjoy these conversations with your Dad because all too soon your Father will not be with you and suddenly that silence will seem deafening. If you find your Dad annoying then just reply "yes" "goodness me", "Heavens" "oh my God"....... and so on. Remember to keep in touch as this wonderful Site is a great Place to release or vent, and to get great help from Fellow Caregivers Who are or have been on this very same journey as you.
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Reply to Johnjoe
SharonGLPC Oct 12, 2018
I would add: record these episodes. There will be a time when you long to hear his voice again.
I second the suggestion to "enjoy" the talk.
My Husband was for the most part non verbal for the last 7 years of his life. He did make moaning or humming sounds and I dearly would have loved words instead...I think....
People often asked me how I could tolerate the noise and I pretty much just ignored it. There were times when the volume or intensity of his noise would change. (He had always been a Bears and Cubs fan so when I put games on for him his volume would increase. I would love to think on some level he understood what was going on)
So for the most part try to ignore but listen with 1 ear you never know what is going to come out that will be important. If his talking or rambling do not require an answer there is no need to reply other than once in a while maybe a "Oh, really?" or "Wow".
But enjoy the sound of his voice.
You might even want to record some just to listen to after he is gone.
And with Dementia..this too may pass and he will be on to some other quirk that will drive you bonkers.
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Reply to Grandma1954
gdaughter Oct 12, 2018
Had to smile as the last words I heard mom speak last evening were to dad.  She said "oh shut up" :-)
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Just pretend you are listening. Cause I have this problem with my significant other. I've told him numerous times he talks too much. His Father is the exact same way, or was before he became elderly.

Listen for key sentences just in case there is a quiz afterwards. Husband: you aren't listening. In my head I'm thinking: if I listened to you whenever you talk, that's all I'd do. What I say: yes, you said this and this and that. I've gotten good at tuning him out but hearing key sentences. This way I never get caught unprepared when there's a quiz. :P
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Reply to Gershun

My partner has dementia and Alzheimer's. She was a professional and a number of our friends are professionals that dealt with behavior. She was a very quiet person. The last few weeks she has felt a need to talk constantly. She feels she needs to teach people and entertain them is why she talks so much. She talks non-stop to the caregivers.
She is in hospice. Yes hospice can drug her up. Even is the person is not in hospice there are a number of drugs to help calm them. I don't like that and she does not either. There are some things you can do that are more gentle. Her mind is being over stimulated to much from all the talking. Playing quiet music during the day and quiet meditation music at night helps alot. I also slowed down visitation, minimized the time and number of people, phone calls, etc. Their minds are being over stimulated. Taking more naps in a quiet place with quiet music - no TV, people talking, etc.
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Reply to snoopy5
wakankasha Oct 12, 2018
I like the music idea.  It worked for me and my aunt with dementia.  When on long car rides (which she also enjoys and is a great passenger), I would make sure we had plenty of diversified music, some of which I was sure she knew the words to.  Music is definitely a mood elevator.  Good for patient and caregiver alike.
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Mom is 90. Five years ago dad, her only caregiver, died. For the first year she constantly charged around the house saying "where's dad, where's dad". Slowly and with the help of taking her off namenda and aricept, adding natural supplements, she calmed down. The constant quest of finding dad declined. Whenever she got something in her head she would get frantic, focusing only on her obsession and if you didn't comply she would get angry and lash out. Like a toddler overdue for its nap. I tried something once and it worked. In the middle of her fit, I said "thank you mom" in a very loving tone. It stopped her mind. She looked up at me and focused on something other than her obsessive frustrating thought and calmed down. I think what happened was she stopped her thoughts and wondered what good thing she had done to receive a thank you. We continue to use this phrase and it works about 80% of the time. The more upset she gets the calmer we try to be. I got the idea from studying an ancient Hawaiian healing art, Ho'oponopono, Dr. Hew Lin. Very powerful. Hope this helps.
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Reply to donzini

What happens if you don't engage in the conversation?

If your father is happy to prattle on in spite of one-word replies, or your leaving the room, or your turning up the TV volume, or whatever, do you need to do anything about it?

But if you're worried that the sudden change in him might be a sign of something else, or if your father is becoming agitated and upset, talk to his doctor about it.
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Reply to Countrymouse

In terms of coping, does your LO sing? I find singing easier to listen to so when these spells come up I would start singing a song or hymn from my childhood and soon my father would join in. We might sing for 15-30 minutes, he would keep the song going as I moved in/out of the room. When the singing stopped, the non-stop chatter (or more likely fussing from my father) didn't restart for at least an hour.
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Reply to TNtechie

I wear ear plugs and listen to music.
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Reply to SusieSmith

Yes, actually, I do have a suggestion. I'm not a qualified behavioral specialist, but how many of us are?
Unspoken racing thoughts are often hard to detect, and in my case they continue to race round and round, sometimes with partial solutions that are never fully thought out and implemented. I suffer from inaction, sometimes seen by others as procrastination. It simply means that I try to see all possible outcomes of my actions(not possible) before I finally commit and take a chance by either saying something or doing something.
Recording a long sequence of verbalization and playing it back may have some effect, if you can capture the attention of the listener long enough to focus on the exercise. a simple phrase said kindly such as "This is you, listen..."
A few times of that including something like "This is what you sound like to the world" just might raise the awareness of the speaker.
Please keep in mind that I am not a Doctor, although I play one on AgingCare..
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Reply to Rusty2130
MARRAM Oct 12, 2018
This might help someone with self awareness but most likely not someone with dementia.
If I correct, even with the nicest tone and words, my mil starts in on her "sins" and how dumb she is.
About 8 years before diagnosis, I noticed that my mil started talking a lot more than usual. We chalked it up to living alone. But now I feel it was the beginning of her dementia symptoms.
She still talks a lot but is often ridiculous stuff. Today she asked me if Jacob (my oldest son) had well to do parents! I reminded her that my husband and I are his parents. She took that well. Answering that she had never put that together. ; )
I let a lot go in one ear and out the other but do try to respond in some fashion. It's always interesting! And sometimes frustrating.
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