It’s hard to answer this question with a blanket statement, because the disease progresses differently in each patient. There are, of course, some pretty common symptoms, such as memory loss. But some patients experience a wide range of symptoms, while others experience only a few.
If loss of speech occurs at all, it’s usually in the mid – to later stages of Alzheimer’s. As the disease progresses, it shuts down certain functions of the body, one of which can be speech. The person may start out fumbling for words, or not completing sentences. Then it may move to speaking full sentences…with words that don’t make sense. At its worst, the disease robs a person of any ability to speak.
One of the reasons for some loss of speech can be mini-strokes. Sometimes these strokes happen prior to dementia, and sometimes after; again, no real pattern. If a stroke is bad enough, of course, the person can lose speech altogether. However, it’s good to know that therapists can help him/her regain some of it.
If your loved one with Alzheimer’s loses his/her speech early, it’s time to consult their physician…and it’s also time to consult a specialist such as a neurologist. Mini-strokes can be too small to detect by machine. But a good doctor may be able to tell by the symptoms, and information from the family.
Keep in mind that losing speech early on is not typical for Alzheimer’s patients. But visiting a specialist may be the only way to be sure. Just as visiting an Elder Law attorney may be the only way to be sure that your loved one – and your family – are protected.
At The Law Offices of Alice Reiter Feld & Associates, we’re Elder Law attorneys. Over the past 33 years, we’ve walked thousands of South Florida families through the Alzheimer’s Journey, with professionalism, compassion, and, when necessary, a soft shoulder. And we’ve helped prepare their loved ones for the aging process long before that…with comprehensive estate planning, wills, trusts, powers of attorney, long-term care planning, asset protection plans, and assistance with the VA or Medicaid.
Walking families through the Alzheimer’s Journey is what we do – every day. And we’re just a phone call away.
Can Someone With Early-Stage Alzheimer’s Lose Their Speech?