PSP Association
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How do i cope when Frank loses his temper with frustration?

Several times now Frank has tried so hard to get words out, I am unable to understand all the time, then he loses his temper and shouts in sheer frustration with himself, and me or any of the family having the same problem understanding him. He just doesn't stop talking from the moment we visit, I try to tell him to slow down in the hope that the words will come to him and I certainly don't want him not to try and talk or communicate. He is confined to a wheelchair, but the speech is the worst part of the PSP - at the moment. I am not sure how to deal with it.

7 Replies

I know the feeling you having with this with Frank. I have it too with my sister. The speech therapist told me to tell the person to try and speak very slowly and loudly. So far this method has helped. There is no easy answer. Keep trying



Thank you so much, will certainly try that method. He does try to get the words out so quickly, i am pleased that he still wants to talk.



Hi Kay

I am not sure where Frank is in relation to the condition but have you spoken to the Speech and Language Therapist to see if there are any communication aids that might help him?

We didn't get the diagnosis until late for dad so it was too late for him to consider anything like this as he had got to the point where he was unable to handle any technical device but I know others have found them useful.

For me this was probably the worst part of the condition we would spend hours of a guessing game with him to try to find out what it was he was trying to say. At first I got a bit 'nowty' back because I didn't really understand what was going on. When I understood a bit more, there were still times I had to bite my tongue when he got angry and had to walk away for a few minutes and then I'd come back and start the slow progress of my standard questions and his yes and no answers.

It was the best I could do and this was probably still frustrating for dad when he just wanted a conversation (and he would still get angry at times) but I would just explain to him again why I was doing it. Sometimes we managed to find out what he was trying to say or what he wanted and other time dad would just give up and say 'never mind' or 'forget it' at which point I must admit, rightly or wrongly I would change the subject and start to talk about something else or reminisce.

I also asked others around him i.e. the care home staff, just in case something had gone on that day that he was trying to tell us about for example something he had done or someone had been in to entertain them or he had had a fall.

The one thing I remember is getting something out of dad once when he was upset with a member of staff and wanted to make a complaint and in the end him saying very quietly 'you are my voice'. It took me aback.

Make sure you ask for help Kay. I'm not sure I have been much help here but the condition and all its symptoms are distressing enough but and I found this part of it emotionally draining for me

Keep your chin up and take care of yourself. I send my love to you and Frank

Lesley x


Course, it all helps, Frank is in a care home and he does try to relate what has been going on around him, there isn't much (any) conversation between residents as so many of them have problems, so when I arrive he just cant get words out quickly enough and that is when the repetition, and frustration starts.

Thank you for your reply. x


Oh, it's so very frustrating and upsetting for you both. The Speech Therapist will be helpful, I'm sure.

My mum had a book of laminated sheets with pictures which she could use to direct us to the right way of thinking. This was something the nursing home made up, so it was relevant to her- 'phone Fiona', 'close curtains' etc. When I was with her I could understand best if I was right up in her face- all concept of comfortable personal space gone :) Sometimes we could latch on to a word, and know that she was contributing to the conversation appropriately. Sometimes she could spell a word for us.

There's no easy way, but you'll figure out something that helps you and Frank.

Take care

Fiona x


Peter was assigned a Speech Therapist but after 4-5 sessions it was felt that she could do no more other than give us some exercises to do. Peter had no interest in the exercises, people did not include him in conversation because he was difficult to understand so he rarely speaks! WHEN HE DOES it is hard but I find it helpful to get him to say just one word. By the time we have got to word 3 I can get the gist and we both feel satisfied and rather pleased with ourselves!


That is such a help, we had the same problem with the speech therapist. There was a Sunday service at the care home last night and my daughter told me he was singing his heart out from the hymn sheet. we smiled and thought about getting him to sing to us .........................


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