Garbled Speech and Dementia

tongueWhile garbled speech doesn’t seem to be directly linked with any form of dementia, we are treating it as a neurological issue we are continuing to investigate. I recounted my concern and the lack of any medical diagnosis a few days ago. Thank you to the many readers who sent me suggestions with the over-riding recommendation to get him back to a neurologist.

I had requested that the Speech Pathologist in Assisted Living visit him — it took almost two weeks and required an in-person follow-up before his appointment was scheduled. That happened yesterday. Her recommendation was that I get my Dad to the Neurologist.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” the call begins. Apparently, my Dad’s tongue is not really moving at all and she is going to work to get him into the Neurologist sooner. I expressed my concern with his ability to eat and she will be following up with him today to join him for lunch and see how he is doing.

I’m glad to at least have my concern recognized and on the radar of the Assisted Living community, but frustrated that it took so many follow-ups to get him to someone in the medical community that would / could diagnose what might be happening.

He has seen two doctors in the past month who both failed to find any concern with his speech. I witnessed as one of them checked in his mouth and had him try a few motions. I’m lucky to have two Speech Pathologists in my life to help me understand their job and find an advocate concerning his issue in the medical community. Searching. 

9 thoughts on “Garbled Speech and Dementia

  1. Kay, just a thought, but has your dad been checked for Parkinson’s or anything in that family of neurological disorders? Frank’s father was just diagnosed. He never had the tremors like a lot of Parkinson patients so many of the other common symptoms he had were considered to be ‘stand alone’ issues (like aging) or related to another health concern. It was just a fluke that we started putting the pieces together (on our own) and got him in to see the neurologist.

  2. Hopefully the neurologist can figure out what is wrong. That’s good they are going to watch him eat; they might be able to modify his meals until a diagnosis is reached.

  3. The other possibility that I (as SLP myself) failed to mention in my previous post is that it may be some kind of a growth or obstruction in the oral cavity causing the drooling and the slurred speech, completely unrelated to any type of neurological issue. It is hoped that both the physicians and a speech pathologist would do a thorough oral motor exam, looking carefully along the sides of the mouth, and on and under the tongue. I share your frustration with how long anything medical seem to take!

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