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Spouse or Partner Caregiver Forum
Can patients understand....
Hello, DH has Lewy Body in late stages. He is very vocal but it's mostly babbling. He gets stressed out while trying to communicate to me but it's mostly babble. Can he be trying to say something important to me but gets mad at me for not getting what he's trying to tell me? He doesn't or can't take direction anymore...doesn't know what I am saying but wondering if he actually understand sometimes? I hope someone else knows what I am trying to ask???
One of the frustrating things for people with dementia is that what their brain tells them to say is not what comes out of their mouth. As far as the communication the other way, I heard one person with dementia say that they could hear their LO talking to them, but it was like they needed a descrambler to understand what they were saying.
My wife is in mid-stage 7 of AD. Her hearing is excellent and she can sometimes repeat words she hears, but unless I speak slowly, most of the time she can't figure out what I'm saying. Her speech is mostly repetitive sounds, but sometimes I can figure out what she's trying to say, and when I ask her, she can nod or shake her head.
Such is the communication life of caregiver and patient. Alas.
We have a step down going out into the garage. I always take her arm and help her, and also in stepping up going back into the house. When we are out, we use a wheelchair.
Besides talking, another problem with dementia patients is the visual distortion. I was once told that if the color of the floor changes, say to a dark rug, they may interpret that as a hole, and are reluctant to step there. Actually, I've found that whenever colors change, even to a lighter color, my wife always puts her toe out and "tests" the floor to see if it's safe. We went to see our granddaughter play a basketball game, and sat up in the fourth row of the bleachers. Coming down, she absolutely refused to step down because the steps were painted a jumble of colors. I had to phsyically lift her up and carry her down each step.
My wife's walking has slowed down to small steps, and I have to pick her up and hold her upright each morning to get her out of bed. So the walking and talking are compromised, but I am blessed that she still knows who I am and has the same happy and friendly personality she has always had.
I always thought my DH could understand at some level. But could no longer communicate his needs or wants.
In the beginning his anger was fustration so the less i asked the easier it was for him. if he didnt try to put on shoes he wasnt upset he couldn’t......each day i expected a little less.
Until the end his aggressive behavior was related to his needs or wants, i always tried to make sure that what i wanted for him was required especially if he seemed to not want it. So if he didnt want to shower we skipped it, if he didnt want to eat...i didnt force it. I would give him a songe bath or a reeses cup.....
He got in trouble because he wanted to walk...and if somebody stood in his way he would push them or if they yelled he wanted them to stop. I xould see the patterns and adjust to them but many times other patients or CG did not
Could he understand words ....no I dont think so but was he fustrated ....yes.
A gentle touch or a soft words would soothe him even in stage 6. So he did still seem to understand kindness