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Why is a dementia patient spelling out their name?

My uncle has picks disease dementia, and when he calls on the phone he spells out his name.
Status: Open    Aug 12, 2016 - 04:17 PM


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Oct 05, 2016 - 11:04 AM

Language and communication is one primary area affected by Frontotemporal Dementia, also known as Pick’s Disease. As the disease progresses, different parts of the brain may be more prominently affected by degeneration. Different speech and language difficulties will occur depending on where the brunt of the degeneration is occurring. Language is primarily controlled in the left hemisphere of the brain for most people. This is where your uncle may be affected by the disease at this time. Sometimes those with the disease will have difficulty making or understanding speech. By spelling out his name, he may be demonstrating the difficulty he is having in communicating or understanding and this is how he is expressing the difficulty he is having.

As cognitive impairment progresses, your uncle may have an increasingly difficult time communicating. It may become more difficult for him to express his thoughts and emotions, remain focused in conversations or to simply comprehend the meaning of words. This can lead to frustration. Changes in communication are difficult. There are some things you can do to help:

1) Just take it slow. Give your uncle time to express his thoughts.
2) Ask simple questions.
3) Give clear instructions when speaking to him.
4) Smile and remain calm.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any more questions or need additional assistance.
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