Most people talk to themselves, especially when alone. Experts say that self-speech is a biological mechanism that allows humans to confront surmounting issues with deep concentration. It is also one way of showing off stress. But it may be a different case altogether when it is your elderly grandma doing self-talk. There might be multiple problems linked to their current situation. First, as people age, their sense of hearing becomes somehow compromised. It seems your grandma is now unable to hear their thoughts, and mumbling and even loud speaking is their response mechanism.
If you listen ever so carefully, you might hear your grandma answering the very questions she’s asking herself. She might even proceed to argue out in response to the rhetoric. Another probability is that your grandma is slowly descending into dementia. Does she often get argumentative when you try to reason out with her? It is one of the symptoms of the illness. Still, it is not conclusive until a medical evaluation can ascertain. Check out some other reasons your grandma is talking to themselves more and more.
They Could Be Fighting Deep Loneliness
No one is ever comfortable alone, but the older your grandma gets, the more such fear and discomfort increases. Maybe she doesn’t have a partner anymore, and to her, the future appears bleak. It also means she misses familiar faces and voices with whom she can babble away. Your grandma may also be finding it very difficult to express her emotions, and now she finds more comfort in talking to herself. Perhaps, she’s also fighting the deep silence that surrounds her. And hearing her voice allows her to think she is not alone, which allows her to enjoy solitude.
Dementia /Alzheimer’s Illness Can Make Your Grandma Self-Talk
If your grandma is talking to non-existent people nonstop, it could mean just one thing; that they have Alzheimer’s or dementia. A visit to the neurologist can confirm if this is indeed the case. The severity of the problem depends on how often they talk to themselves and if she has any
objections when you try to intervene. You can then ask the doctor to outline the type of care and support you may provide your grandma at this time. Most doctors will also advise you to let your grandma chatter away for now, as there will come at a time when she may not talk at all.
Schizophrenia Is Also a Cause of People Who Mumble
Of course, schizophrenia is not such a significant cause of self-talk compared to other illnesses. Still, it affects how people feel and act. Some of the prevalent symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations and delusions. In the latter, your grandma may be hearing sounds and seeing non-existent images, prompting her to respond to the same sounds. Although there is no specific cause of schizophrenia, doctors suspect drug use and chemical imbalances in the brain can lead to the disorder.
Your Grandma Could Be Dealing with Unresolved Anger Issues
Did you know the older a person gets, the more they become irritable and short-tempered? Anything small can set them off. Maybe the constant running around and noise of the young ones are working them up, and they become so angry to the point of mumbling and talking to those imaginary people. Experts say it could be your grandma’s way of cooling down the tempers and suppressing anger. By turning to self-talk, they somehow become calm and normal again.
As much as self-talk is normal, and people do this a lot, it may turn out as something else for your grandma. You can ignore if it is sparing, but its consistency means there might be a lingering medical issue. To be sure, medical evaluation is key. So, speak to the doctor, and explain how often this is going on. They will most likely refer your relative to a specialist who can rule out severe illnesses such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. If it is just the usual depressive tendencies, they can recommend available treatment. The doctor can also suggest the generous support you can provide your grandma. Finally, the best way to deal with your grandma’s self-talk is to let her, as restraining might do more harm than good.