Sometimes this is such a thankless job!

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No matter how much you do, someone always thinks they know better. Mom had problems with both her hearing aids. With her dementia, she isn't even aware when one or the other isn't working or how well its working. We know something is wrong when we end up having to scream for her to hear us. Over a period of two weeks I made five 30 mile round trips, picking up one hearing aid, then the other, getting it cleaned, taking it back. Then finding out one was broken a day later, taking it to the store to have it sent to be repaired, bring it back to her, only to find out a day later that the other one wasn't working either. Back and forth, etc. So I encounter two of her friends in the hallway - and what do they do? They indignantly chastise me because I should be buying her new hearing aids like they have and I should be doing something to help her. Of course, they have no idea her dementia is so bad, she wouldn't be able to figure the new ones out - she can't work her own oven or dishwasher. A new $5000 set would be ruined by her because she NEVER cleans them, refuses to go down and have them cleaned when the lady comes to the facility. She loses the tools, peels the tabs off the batteries and puts them all together so the batteries are half dead when she uses them and half the time she puts the dead ones back with the new ones. But, no, its all my fault she can't hear! I had all I could do not to blow up and tell them to go "you know where", but they are old ladies and they stick together so I'm the bad guy@#!! I repeat, Mom needs to be in AL where there are people to monitor these things, but alas, she will never go until she falls and breaks something...............

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Yesterday Mom made at least 5 calls to my sister (up until 11:30 pm) hanging up each time. She made 4 to me, saying "I can't hear you, you have to come talk to me, my hearing aids aren't working", then she hangs up. I'm getting a ride there on Sunday and will show her again (for the 50th time) how to hold the phone. If this keeps up, we will have to take the phone away from her. If she can't hear, and all she does is hang up, there is no sense in allowing her to keep making phone calls when she can't communicate. I can see memory care in the future.
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Carla - so true. I sent my mother the letter with the diagram on how to hold the phone over her hearing aid. Since then, she has called me twice - only to say she can't hear me and the hearing aids are no good, then she cries and hangs up on me. The hearing aids work, they cost a fortune. The trouble is, if there is nothing BETWEEN the wearer's ears - they are not going to hear anyway. No matter how many times I tell her, teach her, draw pictures, her memory is five minutes long for that - but she remembers the past and habits with the old hearing aids - and will always continue to use the phone the way she did with the old hearing aids (which was also wrong, by the way) but that is the way she will do it for the rest of her life. If anyone's parent has dementia - any change is devastating, and they are incapable of re-learning, listening, or remembering. Sad but true facts.
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I'm glad to hear other people say that hearing aids don't work well for some elderly people. I took my Mom to an audiologist a few months ago and he tried to sell her on a very expensive fancy set that admittedly improved her hearing very much. However, her insurance would only cover a much cheaper model (and with a substantial copayment at that, if I recall correctly). Watching the guy demonstrate the various models, though, I just couldn't imagine my mother using them. Even turning them on and off, never mind changing the batteries when needed. My mother has lousy manual dexterity for handling small objects and she's terrible with technology of all kinds. Other people have to manage all issues with her cellphone, her computer, her alert pendant, etc. She can never even begin to figure out what's wrong or isn't working. I did get her a set of Bluetooth headphones for watching TV so she can hear without blasting the volume so loud, and it allows her to hear over the dishwasher or the vacuum or whatever I'm doing in the house while she's watching TV. That's been a godsend, although she can't figure out any problems with that either (one time she got static just because the base was pointed away from her chair, and she had no idea what to do). Anyway, I feel better about recommending against the hearing aids for the time being at least. I think it would end up being a lot of work for someone else (as AmyGrace eloquently testifies).
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Keep in mind that you do not always have to use expensive hearing aids for assistance with hearing loss. ALD's do a great job! (Assistive Listening Devices) You can use a personal amplifier in place of hearing aids. I have seen people do this over and over in lieu of their hearing aids. A lot harder to lose a personal amplifier than small hearing aids and not nearly as expensive to replace. Plus, you don't have to worry about wax build up or cleaning it! At my company called Harris Communications we have over 85 amplified telephones which are all hearing aid compatible which means you shouldn't have to hold the phone an inch away from your ear. Just a thought! :)
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freqflyer: probably your husband has the volume low on sports because the announcers are so darn annoying and he doesn't need the volume to know what is happening most of the time ! (actually I'm a football fan and by halftime, I've turned the volume off - enough babble!) My spouse turns the volume up for Nascar and I can hear it 5 rooms away. But, if we watch a movie, then we put closed caption on which compensates, thank goodness. Since mom is deaf, I know my turn will come. But, when I can no longer hear the birds sing, you can bet I will be at the audiologist right away. I will not embarrass myself by continually asking people to repeat themselves, or yell. And I don't want to miss hearing the beauty of nature!
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AmyGrace, same happening here at my house, too, my sig other thinks I am mumbling.... yet he will watch TV with the volume so low that I can barely hear it... but I do realize different pitches can or cannot be heard.

I don't know if sig other is becoming hearing challenged or if he just doesn't pay attention.... probably the latter..... if I was dressed in football gear or dribbling a basketball maybe then he will listen :P
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You are doing a fantasti job. Your love and compassion shines through. Don't take the two ladies to heart. I am always saying stupid things, but what I am thinking is she doing a great job. ; her mother is lucky to have her.
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Its very sad what aging does to us, especially growing deaf. Denial and lying is a big defense to protect their growing disability. (My spouse is getting deaf and I have to constantly repeat myself, but according to him, its my fault. We have never had arguments until now - my frustration from having to repeat myself, and his for thinking I am not talking right.) And it is so embarrassing for us who have to almost shout to be heard in public or constantly translate because they can't hear the waitress, store clerk, etc. (I've found that when I have to shout like that, it psychologically gets me stressed and riled up and I feel angry, then guilty.)
I would advise any of you of two things (because hearing aids are so expensive). If your parent is mentally healthy, get good ones. If he/she has dementia, get cheaper ones that adjust automatically. (Mom had the others and she kept turning them up and down constantly) Also, get an extra warranty on them because after a year, if they break down the cost is hundreds of dollars to fix. And in the past five years, Mom has lost one or both at least three times. She refuses to put them in the box, just lays them on the dresser, or puts them on a kleenex and probably throws them away. Once I found one of the sets floating around in the back of her sock drawer.
As far as talking on the phone with hearing aids. One is supposed to hold the phone about an inch away from the earpiece - try telling that to a stubborn 90 year old who crams it against her ear so she gets feedback. Good luck everyone!
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My mother won't even try them. I live 1500 miles away, so we have no communication, at all. She is 95 and in a NH. I sympathize with you.
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if i had to help an elder get hearing aids id see if one could be purchased just for their strongest ear . two hearing aids dont work for edna . i believe her comprehension is better just listening with one ear . personally , i cant hold a phone to my right ear . i hear the phone just fine but its just words to my brain . my brain only takes input from the left ear . try one device on the elder , thats what im gettin at . my theory isnt about hearing , its about comprehension .
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