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 Making yourself understood 

How do you communicate when words fail?
Home-made picture cards 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
"Commercial" set of picture cards 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Picture to speech apps 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Questions and nods and pointing 60%  60%  [ 3 ]
Other 40%  40%  [ 2 ]
Once you reach that point, need I say it 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
Total votes : 5

 Making yourself understood 
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Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:52 pm
Posts: 1
Post Making yourself understood
My mother, who was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia several years ago,
still communicates clearly -- but -- should the time come when she can not,
are there "apps" -- similar to the "picture-to-speech converters" for Autistic patients,
to help them communicate more easily -- for LBD patients?
How useful are they?

Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:35 am

Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:00 pm
Posts: 78
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Post Re: Making yourself understood
Ted now only can communicate rarely with short sentences ("no", or nods yes; says "I missed you". His ability to form words has become more difficult so it's always hard to understand him. Also, his spatial issues and loss of fine motor skills really don't allow the use of a picture board, even when he's having an "on" time. The best is trying to speak slowly and ask clear, short, direct questions. Even then he sometimes isn't able to respond, or finally gives a small nod after we repeat it several times. Lots of trial and error to figure out what he needs or is trying to communicate at times.

Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:53 am

Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3441
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Making yourself understood
When my dad's inability to retrieve and use words was at its worst, we tried to keep questions and choices simple. In fact, NOT asking many questions helped as much as anything. Ex., if I wanted to know what he wanted to eat or drink, I'd make my best guess and the question wouldn't be "what would you like for lunch today?" It would be "I'm getting you some tomato soup, OK?" That took pressure off him to think through a list of foods and then try to say the word. Simplify, simplify, simplify. If he seemed receptive and was awake, I'd tell him stories so he had something to think about other than his lying in bed 24/7. They didn't require him to talk, only listen, and when that was too tiring for him I'd stop talking or ask others to leave his room because he was too tired from having visitors. At lot of this will depend on your LOs overall state of health at the time, of course. The above examples were in my dad's last few months when communication was really tough. Good luck, Lynn

Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.

Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:31 pm

Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:07 pm
Posts: 248
Post Re: Making yourself understood
My mother's visual perception has deteriorated so badly that picture cards are useless. Visuo-perceptual abnormalities were very apparent on her initial exam and have worsened since. Luckily her verbal comprehension and language skills, while diminished, still allow some communication. If she is very tired (much of the time!) then she may find it too much effort to form sentences. But with careful simple questions, hugs and patience, I can usually get at least a monosyllable or short-sentence answer as needed. My father, alas, does not do as well at this and gets frustrated.

We finally moved her to the dementia care unit yesterday. I will post more separately on that adventure, when time permits. It has been complicated.

Laurel - mother (97) diagnosed April, 2011, with LBD; died May, 2014.

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:31 pm
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