How to get your aging parent to be more considerate.

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my 94 yr old mother is hard of hearing. She refuses any help we have given her. I have to go to my room and shut the door to handle the loud tv and then she says I am neglecting her. She tells me she can't hear and she can't help it if it bothers me. How do I handle this.


dgharris, I don't think there is anything you can do to change it. You can only do what you need to do to make it bearable. Many (maybe most) people as they get old develop a tunnel vision, so things outside their immediate needs are not noticed. This often includes the needs of others. To a cg it can feel like a statement that their needs are not important. If a cg says anything it can often cause an argument and maybe a temporary change, but then it goes back to the way it was.

One thing that was very difficult for me to come to terms with was my unimportance in the eyes of others I started caring for my mother and father. I had to become comfortable with this, however. The care receiver is the primary concern of themselves and others. I believe when it comes to older people, their thoughts are I am old, so I need this. A cg just has to find it in them to adapt, IMO. Of course, we have to set limits on how much we adapt. In your case, it sounds like you do just what you needed -- went to your room to get away from the loud TV. And when she feels neglected, just say it was too loud for you, so you thought you would go in your room so she could enjoy the show.

I spend a lot of time in my room in the evening. I just can't tolerate watching sitcom reruns all evening each evening. It would drive me batty. Some of the shows I can almost recite already. :)
I wonder if your mother would like a great device that would help her hear her tv better? She could even continue to listen if she has to get up to go to the bathroom. A wireless headset might be a very thoughtful holiday gift.

(The fact that it would make your life more bearable is not to be mentioned. As Jessie says, your mom's only concern is her own needs. But if something meets her needs you don't have to confess you bought it for yourself!)

I doubt that I could have survived long as a caregiver without a wonderful wireless headset for the television!
Great idea, Jeanne. I wonder if I would have any luck with my mother wearing one. She has rejected technology since the 1960s -- the only exception being the remote control. It is worth a try.
JessieBelle-maybe if you do not give her a choice but say she has to wear it to watch her TV-it is either wear them or no TV. So she does have a choice actually-wear them and get TV or don't wear them and don't get TV. Just a thought.
MishkaM, I just imagined me having that conversation with my mother. She would probably throw them at me. ;-D
Depending how bad their hearing is, there are speakers that can be hooked up to the tv and placed next to the hearing impaired person. They can adjust the volume of the speakers where they sit without turning the volume up on the tv.

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