Hi, i just read your blog on the Alzheimer's reading room and loved it. My mom suffers from dementia and I recently moved her to a memory care facility near me. I was wondering why some people with dementia stop taking? It isn't that she can't, she will read a page from a book or sing a song if I start her on it but she will not carry on a conversation. She will just smile and shrug her shoulders when asked a question. It is taking me longer each time to even get a word out. Thank you.

4

Have more questions and don't know where to turn?


Join our community and get access to monthly support calls, an online chat forum for questions, and even monthly 1:1 calls with Rachael! CLICK HERE for more information.

Hi, thanks for writing in, and good question! Some people lose the ability to speak in what’s called “aphasia,” but this doesn’t sound like it is entirely the case here. Even if she can still read, she may have some difficulty speaking (or understanding). Your mom may have some difficulty finding the right words, so she’s afraid of making a mistake in conversation with you. She may also have some difficulty understanding. Are you speaking slowly and loudly enough?

Music stays with people. Music affects many different parts of the brain, and some of these areas are not damaged in dementia. My residents LOVE to sing.

I wonder if you could bring in a CD player and you all could listen to some of her favorite songs. I bet that she’ll be able to tell you about them and how it makes her feel.

Liked it? Take a second to support Rachael Wonderlin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rachael Wonderlin is an internationally-recognized dementia care expert and consultant. She has a Master’s in Gerontology and is the author of three published books with Johns Hopkins University Press. Rachael owns Dementia By Day, a dementia care consulting and education company.

16 things poster
Get the FREE “16 Things” poster!

You're not alone!

Get personal support from Rachael and connect with other Caregivers when you join our community.

16 Things I Would Want If I Got Dementia

Get the FREE “16 Things” poster for your personal use—or better yet—your dementia care community’s staff break room!

I wrote this poem years ago, but to date, it’s the most popular piece I’ve ever created.


When you sign up, you’ll also get access to Rachael’s weekly newsletter so that you can get her top tips, links to new content as soon as it’s released, and special offers directly in your inbox! We’ll never sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

16 things poster
Shopping Cart

Have questions?

Book a Dementia Detective
call and talk to a DBD expert!