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Teaching now Living-Part 20-The Changes in Speech are Now Evident

As one ages language skills are normally left unimpaired. Unfortunately for those who suffer from Alzheimer's this is not the case. Progression of the disease in Ellie has caused evident changes in her speech recently. In the past she talked rather quickly and was particular about her annunciation and chosen terminology. Always an avid reader she had developed an extensive vocabulary. Yesterday sitting and listening to her answer questions at her MD appointment, I noticed how slow she was to respond. Her speech was slow and dragged out and her vocabulary was limited.

Tip: Allow extra time for a response so the person can think about what he or she wants to say. Engage the person in conversation in a quiet space that has minimal distractions. Ask yes and no questions, use visual cues, maintain eye contact, be patient, avoid criticizing, correcting or arguing.

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