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Published on: January 29, 2012
Essential communication skills such as speech, reading and writing begin to be lost in one of the most upsetting and frustrating aspects of the disease. While an understanding of simple speech remains intact during the early stages, the patient can experience growing difficulties in finding and using the correct words.
However as the effects of the disease intensify the patient will have difficultly finishing sentences and will wander onto another subject and may often repeat the same words over and over again.
The ability to find the words needed to complete a sentence or become involved in a conversation also decreases, in other words (paraphrase), are added into the gaps left, the true meaning of the conversation can be lost.
They will also experience increasing difficulty in interpreting complex conversations, proverbs and metaphors and lose the ability to use or understand complex sentences. This may mean that questions are left answered because they are not understood and keeping a sentence going often proves too difficult for the sufferer. Eventually their whole speech often becomes babbling gibberish, and gradually the Alzheimer sufferer withdraws from talking altogether.
Reading and writing may become affected quite early in the disease, with spelling difficulties becoming apparent.
There is also a poor attention span and associated lack of interest in the task which is often left uncompleted. The taking of phone messages can prove particularly difficult and can often be the key that reveals the first signs of the dementia.
The sufferer will have difficulty following the conversation and become confused and frightened, making their problem worse.
Communication eventually becomes impossible in advanced stages of the disease as the sufferer is usually unable to communicate even their basic needs to others.
While some patients exhibit some automatic verbal response on occasions, the burden of communication falls more and more on the shoulders of relatives, friends and care givers.
Picture Source: The Star
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