Why Do Dementia Patients Stop Talking?

Many persons with dementia develop communication challenges where some even stop speaking leading to the question of why do dementia patients stop talking.

Below, we are going to explore several reasons that may cause a person with dementia to stop speaking.

Why do dementia patients lose the ability to speak?

Brain Damage

brain damage
One of the top answers to the query why do dementia patients stop talking is because of the damage the disease causes to their brains.

The illness slowly damages the areas of the brain that are responsible for speech and comprehension resulting in a symptom known as aphasia.

When a person is first diagnosed with the illness, they may be communicating well.

From here individuals may start experiencing some communication challenges mostly because they have difficulties remembering things.

After some time, they will completely lose the ability to talk.

At this point, therapies aimed at enhancing communication become futile. This mostly happens in the later stages of illness where dementia affects almost all aspects of a person’s life.

This renders the suffering individual dependent on all activities, and their willingness or ability to talk reduces among other severe changes.


why do dementia patients stop talking
Another reason persons with dementia may stop speaking is that they are frustrated with not being understood by the individual they are communicating with.

They can reach a stage where they keep repeating the same sounds, words, or phrases; thus other people will not understand the message they are trying to pass across.

Numerous studies done by linguists focusing on the language of individuals with dementia reveal that the affected individuals may be communicating about the reality from their past world but are not able to use “dictionary words” which results in misunderstandings.

Communication challenges can make a person feel discouraged and just not try and talk to other individuals.

Social Withdrawal

social withdrawal
Social withdrawal may be another answer to why do dementia patients stop talking.

Many people with the neurodegenerative disease find their current world filled with loneliness, pain, noise, and confusion.

The affected individuals may also be dealing with an array of emotions from fear, anger, or sadness, etc.

They, therefore, find comfort in solitude as they retreat to a world that they once lived in. Here they can relive happier moments when the disease was not taking a toll on them.

Lack of Engagement

lack of engagement
At times, a person with dementia may stop talking because of a lack of engagement.

They may opt to keep to themselves because they feel bored or isolated.

This is why you will find that some persons with the disease will spend a lot of time alone.

Even when they are in the company of others, they may remain mum because not much conversation may be going on.

Some people with dementia will find it difficult to start a conversation; thus opt to stop speaking especially when other people do not put in the effort to engage with them.

Hearing Loss

hearing loss
A high percentage of people who have dementia will end up suffering from hearing loss. This makes it one of the answers to why do dementia patients stop talking.

When individuals with dementia lose their ability to hear, it will most likely be associated with communication problems that can result in a person not talking because they cannot hear properly.

Closing Thoughts

Sadly, when a person with dementia stops talking especially because of excessive damage to the brain, it may be an indication that they are living their last days on earth.

Caregivers may want to consider hospice care at this point to ensure that the affected persons remain as comfortable as possible until they breathe their last breath.

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