Mom has a hearing loss of 47%, how do I get her to use her hearing aid when she refuses?

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My wonderful but stubborn 78 year old mother has always had hearing problems, but never wanted to wear a hearing aid. Her hearing has gotten worse now and every single conversation is two conversations now. Me saying something. Her saying "pardon, I didn't hear you" and me repeating it. This goes on all day long. She does it with my children and with other people. Why? Because she can't hear them.


About 3 years ago she relented and bought two hearing aids. She then took back the one for "the bad ear" (both ears are bad really!) and kept the one for "the good ear" which she then lost and found a few times. She never wore the hearing aid at all except in the movie theater. Her hearing has been noticeably worse over the past few months and I have encouraged, reasoned, begged, pleaded, cajoled, asked her to wear it because she can't hear. Her responses range from "if people would just look at me when they talk to me I can hear them." to "I can hear fine - it's when people start mumbling I can't hear."


Okay people, I know she is in denial. So anyway we went back to the hearing aid center (actually twice in the past month) and the guy there tried his very best to convince her that she has a problem. He tested her hearing. He even compared it to ours so she could tell the difference. He played a sound track on the computer and she saw us raise our hands earlier than her. Still not convinced, he put her hearing aid in and she acknowledged that she could hear the sound earlier. He did everything he possibly could to get her to admit she has a problem. She varied from "there are people in my family with hearing loss when I was growing up" to the absurd, "you are all ganging up on me."


I am sick and tired of banging my head up against her brick wall. Why won't she admit she has a problem and do something about it? Me and my 2 adult daughters, and the guy at the hearing aid center, have all told her repeatedly that this is putting a strain on our relationship with her and to "please just wear the damn thing" but she refuses to.


I honestly don't think that she realizes how many times she says "pardon, what did you say?" etc..,
And God forbid when I might say "Mom, put your hearing aid in" after she says that because she just gets VERY angry and defensive.


Has anyone gone through this?
And what do I say next time she says "Pardon?" because honest to God, she says it at least 95 percent of the time and I am at wit's end.

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I went through the same thing with my father. Begged him for years to get them. Finally a doctor convinced him to get them. I had to miss work three times for all his appointments. He never actually intended to get them, he just wanted to go to the appointments. I insisted he get them and he had them for three days before he returned them. I told him I would no longer be his 'ears' for him and I would not make phone calls or repeat myself. He agreed and said he understood. Next day he tells me I need to call someone 'because he can't hear". I refused. If you refuse to help yourself why should I take on extra work to help you?
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Reply to lkdrymom
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I feel your pain. My mom won’t even try to get a hearing aid. She did get tested and has 60% of her hearing. The doctor told her she could get a hearing aid but only if she wants to. She can’t hear on the phone and I live too far away to run over everytime I need to tell her something. She took herself off her high blood pressure medicine because her doctors office called and she thought that was what they said to do. I now have them call me. We have had a few appointments scheduled for hearing aids and she makes me cancel right before because she doesn’t feel well. I really think she’s too cheap to spend the money. I wish they weren’t so darn expensive.
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Reply to Brodie38
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I hear you!!! Going through the exact same thing with my 87 year old Mom who tells me i need to speak up and stop whispering. I tell her to put the hearing aides in and she will hear but refuses unless she goes to the doctor. Don't know the answer to this issue.
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Reply to caring14
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You can't force anyone to do anything. But you can change how YOU handle the situation.

Say in a loud voice, " I will only say things once and will not repeat what I've said. If you want to hear what I say, I suggest you use your hearing aids."

Then STICK TO YOUR STATEMENT. Do not repeat anything.

She will be frustrated, maybe enough to put them in.
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Reply to SueC1957
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I fully understand what you’re going through. I want to cut myself each time I am around my mother. She’s adamant on living alone and now this has become a safety issue. I am an only child so I don’t have anyone to help me.

My mother blames everyone. She gets agitated with everyone when she can’t hear them. I, too, am on my wit’s end. I want to make her life easier but she’s making it impossible.
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Reply to Genevieve999
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I understand fully what you’re going through. I want to cut myself each time I am around my mother. It’s now a safety issue. She’s adamant on living alone and her hearing loss has gotten worse. I truly do not know what to do. I am an only child so I do not have anyone else to help me with this.
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Reply to Genevieve999
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Omg!!! We're living the same life.lol.....she gets so mad when I ask her to put it in! This repeating thing is a nightmare. So stubborn....and always says ...this thing doesn't work! Its been checked and works good. Ugh!!!
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Reply to Zoelove
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When my mother was 85, I took her to the doctor to get a hearing aid. As she was trying it out, she said that she could actually hear the toilet paper ripping, something she evidently hadn't heard in a long time. However, it wasn't long before she was saying that her hearing aid blocked her hearing and she refused to wear it. Sometimes she will put it in if I take it to her and simply say, "It's time to put your hearing aid in", but she won't ever put it in of her own accord. Bottom line is-no amount of cajoling and persuading will convince a dementia patient that they have problems. It is impossible to reason with someone who has lost the ability to reason. There might be less strife if the people living with her just accept her condition and realize that her mind is no longer capable of understanding. Once I realized this about my mother, I was a whole lot less frustrated. The best I can do is continue to research dementia and Alzheimers and try to decrease my own risks of getting them. Also, as a caregiver, take much-needed breaks by getting away from the dementia patient. Go to lunch with another family member or a friend. These are some ways that I cope with my mother and father having dementia. Hope this helps.
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Reply to Lpiano2
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I'm so pleased to have found this sight and realise that it's not just me and my mother with this problem. My mother is 87 and has had deteriorating hearing for several years. She's had several hearing tests and been given 6 different pairs of hearing aids because each time she tries a new one she says it irritates her ears and she can't wear them. She gets very down and lonely and stops wanting to go to functions and family gatherings because she can't hear conversations. If I dare to mention hearing aids she gets very angry with me. I'm not sure what she expects me to do if she won't wear them. I did look at the possibility of those ones that can be fitted to specs but apparently they are only suitable for a certain type of hearing loss which I don't think my mother has. Not sure where to go from here and it's only going to get worse. I empathise with her but it's so frustrating that she doesn't want to help herself, it's like she's given up.
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Reply to StanleyG
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Has anyone tried letting their parent read this website? I am going to do that on my next visit to mom. I think it might help for her to read that there are other people saying the same thing she does. Like she can’t hear me because I’m mumbling and when I speak louder, she says don’t holler at her! Mom also needs to hear how other family members are feeling the same frustration that her family members feel. Although I must admit one of my favorite suggestions was to ask if the reason your not wearing your hearing aid is due to pride....then so be it ....BUT if you’re going to keep your pride then I’m going to keep my “SANITY” and I’m not repeating myself or raise my voice. And don’t tell it to them....write it down or better yet type it on your tablet and make the font nice and BIG (so no glasses are necessary). Then SMILE!
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Reply to Nana1Nana2
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