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Slower Speech

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I find my mouth and tongue don’t move as quickly as they once did and I can’t speak as quickly anymore. I am 56, and years ago I could rattle off things quickly. I am not super slow, but I find that people finish my sentences, or answer before I finish. Are there tongue and mouth exercises I can do to speak quicker again? As well, I forget what I am about to say often…like a word. “I put the paper down on the table”…meaning the chair. I rattle through 4 of my child’s siblings names before getting to theirs. (There are no favorites…I do this with all of them! haha.) I know that others do this also. Is this a brain thing, or is this a lazy thing?

Slower Speech

Answered by on -


As one ages, things change. That is the norm but it’s not clear that what you have described could be categorized as normal signs of aging. A 2017 study revealed that changes in speech may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. More pauses, using filler words and other verbal changes could be indicative of the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s.

Alternatively, it’s normal for people to say “um” and to have trouble recalling certain names or facts. The main difference between individuals who may be showing early signs of Alzheimer’s and those who are not, is that the former group experiences speech problems more frequently, they interfere with communication and there are noticeable changes over time.

It’s not clear what the problem may be and therefore it would be advisable to consult a physician. Report your concerns and let them evaluate your symptoms. They are experts and will know if anything is wrong. It would both be prudent and proactive. Thank you for your question. Good luck and please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

Slower Speech

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Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2019). Slower Speech. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 25 Apr 2019 (Originally: 28 Apr 2019)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 25 Apr 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.