Will Parkinson's take my father in law's ability to communicate? - AgingCare.com

Will Parkinson's take my father in law's ability to communicate?

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As my father in law's Parkinson's has progressed he is getting harder to understand when he speaks. Currently, I help with his telephone calls by repeating what he says to the caller. It makes sometimes for slow conversation but this way he can still use the telephone. His voice is getting softer and his words are not as clearly enunciated. Should I expect that he will eventually lose his ability to talk? If so does anyone have ideas on how he can communicate? He already can barely sign his name, and I don't think sign language would work with his shaking. He is still mentally quite sharp and his hearing is excellent. I'm open to ideas.

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If he's still mentally sharp and loses his ability to communicate, that is unbelievably cruel. You are doing the right thing for now. If it comes to a point where even you can't understand him so that you can tell people what he says, I'm not sure what the options are. There are high tech options with computers where very little physical interaction is needed so you may want to check into what is available for handicapped communications. Since his hearing is sharp and his eyes seem to work, there should be some computer application that you could help him with. Anybody on the forum know of something?
Best of luck to you both.
Carol
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Yes, as the Parkinson's progresses, he will lose the ability to speak as do patients with Alzheimer's. Have you tried typing out what he says, can he type? There are also vision recognition computers which respond to one's pupil looking a words/letters. This is going to be a challenge and I wish you and him the best!
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Go to You Tube and look at the Texas Parkinson's Speak Out videos.

This is a breakthrough and speech theraphists around the country should start picking up on this soon.

My mother has Parkinson's has been through the program. Oklahoma is the second place in the nation to have the program. I'd contact your local Parkinson's group to see if it will be offered where you are soon.

Please contact me if there is anything I can help you with.
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Depending on his age there are many factors that come into play. If there is the inevitable dementia then many options will be of no use. I have been caring for my mom who has Parkinsons & is also 98 for so long now that I can usually figure out what she's trying to say or I can guess until I get it. It is very frustrating for them because eventually they are completely unable to have a normal conversation & it isolates them. I never realized just how bad Parkinsons was until I saw it up close.
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Dad's speech became progressively worse and for about a year now we communicate via an iPad. There are a lot of great APPS out there that help, some which even provide a voice after the message is typed. Dad doesn't care for that as much though. As his Parkinson's has progressed, even typing with a stylus on his iPad takes awhile. Its so frustrating for him. His mind is still sharp as a tack, but has lost all his speech and his legs just won't do what he wants them to do.
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