Follow
Share

I am increasingly uncomfortable with her decision not to use her cane and hearing aids regularly. Going out in public or listening to her talk about situations where she clearly needed them drives me crazy. Sometimes she just forgets or doesn't think or is in a hurry. I used to remind her when we went out to bring her cane but now she insists she doesn't need it. (In the spring using her cane/ wheelchair was not optional but she is better now) Hearing aids are relatively new, less than a year, but she only wears them sparingly because thinks they are like reading glasses only puts them in to go to doctors or church. She complains about not being able to hear people on the phone, at church, at social occasions and says the problem is with other people. I want to be sympathetic, to empathize because these changes - mobility and needing a cane and losing her ability to hear are not easy and a blow to her pride. I want to help her stay independent longer because she likes to socialize, volunteer, be around people. She lives on her own, still drives @ 92 and very independent/ stubborn. She lives around the corner from me. I don't want my discomfort to prevent me from being around her, being social, listening to her. I wish I could approach her differently, lighter, maybe with humor, but instead I get angry and worry more often than not which does not help. Suggestions?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
My dad needed hearing aids for 20 years before he got them. Finally we all decided we were 1) no longer going to raise our voices for conversations and 2) we were no longer going to repeat ourselves. Things came to a head one Thanksgiving when we were speaking in normal voices and he kept saying "what was that?" "what did she say" and we didn't repeat. He got angry, my step mom got angry back and told him to start wearing the damn hearing aids that we were not going to stress our voices and repeat ourselves just because he was too stubborn to use them. Well, finally he tried them, wore them all of the time, and was delighted to hear birds and the wind in his trees after all of this time with silence.

When he refused to use his walker, my step-mom started refusing to help him walk. Said he was too heavy for her 75 year old body to support and if he fell, they would call 911 to get him up. After a few falls, he uses his walker.

I don't know if you want to go as tough as we did, but we sort of got fed up. Good luck
Helpful Answer (12)
Report

If she can't hear and she can't use the legs very well, how the heck does she drive a car? She should not be driving, for the safety of others. As for the nagging, that just makes her dig in her heels and oppose the suggestions. I simply told my MIL that if she fell, I would not pick her up, I would just step over her. She knew that I meant it. If she asks you to repeat a conversation, just say "Nope. Where's the hearing aid?" and smile.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

1. Hearing aids: in addition to what's already been written, there can be issues of "hearing shock" because suddenly noises that haven't been heard for years are loud and clear and uncomfortable. There's also the daily maintenance that's required - putting in the little canister of drying ingredients, cleaning, etc. And sometimes for someone with decreased manual dexterity, it's hard to get the aids out of the ears.

But I think that generally it's the shock of so much ambient noises, even if the aids allow some of it to be toned down and/or out.

The best way is the method already suggested: don't speak any louder and eventually being left out of the conversation may be the prompt for using the aids.

2. Assistive devices. Whenever someone refuses and the family begs, chides and/or gets annoyed, that person has temporarily shifted the balance of control to him/herself.

Remember that these folks are losing control of their life in many other aspects; it's got to be a frightening situation for them.

Sometimes that's an issue; other times it's the issue of not wanting to have to use the devices b/c they're inconvenient, uncomfortable, and/or represent old age.

Over several years, I've backed off on insisting except when I feel it's mandatory, such as in snowy weather. I just got tired of having to remind, and sometimes even to nag. But I've also said that I'm tired of spending time in the ER, and if something happens I'll just call EMS and let them handle the issue.

A few sojourns in rehab for fractured femurs also helped with using assistive devices, but generally I let my father decide when he wants to use them, as I can easily tell from his gait whether or not he needs some help at that particular time.
Helpful Answer (7)
Report

I don't know that there is all that much you can do with elders stubborness, especially with a little dementia throw in. My folks drive me bug s...t, refusing to to anything that makes any sense. I used to nag at them constantly, MOM! USE THE D*MN WALKER BEFORE YOU KILL YOURSELF!! It doesn't work. So these days I make a conscious effort to not come off as scolding and nagging about the Walker and other issues. This helps a little but the reality is you would need to be by her side 24/7 to totally prevent falls, monitor eating and meds and all the rest.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

My mother refused to use her rolling walker in the house and got around hanging on to the walls and furniture. She was always falling, often ending up in the ER. As Sunny said, eventually there was a major fall in the middle of the night, EMS took her to hospital and from there she went into a NH. You can't stand over someone 24/7.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

I should add, I like what Kimber wrote. My Mom will respond somewhat to lessons of consequence. She's spent time in the ER, hospital, rehab, she knows how horrible it can be. So when I gently remind her to take her insulin and use her walker cause I don't want her in the hospital, those old memories kick in and she'll behave herself for a bit.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

ellsbells377, oh my gosh the stubbornness and the pouting when it comes to elders. They think if they go without that cane/walker or their glasses/hearing aids that they will appear a lot younger. Appear a lot younger to whom???

I know when my Dad finally got his rolling walker, I bet all the neighbors lets out a sigh of relief and said "it's about time".

Usually one has to wait for a serious fall for those elders who refuse to use a cane/walker. Dad learned when he fell backwards on their driveway. Sadly my Mom never got to learn her lesson about not using a cane/walker as she is now in long-term-care as her last fall caused serious head trauma.

ellsbells377, feel free to use my Mom's case when talking to your Mom. That her next fall could result in her never coming home and being bedridden for the rest of her life. And don't be surprised if you Mom says that would never happen to her.... [rolling eyes].
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I enjoyed reading all the suggestions for the denial/stubbornness etc. I temporarily moved in with my 90yr old dad nearly 6 months ago. He wasn't expected to live the weekend of the 23rd May 2015. I fought to bring him home, took a career break to provide 24/7 care. His companion (non live in) refused to do any personal care with his stoma, sleep pattern, house chores, meds etc. He had not had a hearing test for over 6 years and no sight test for 16 years, I asked why, they both said he didn't want any aids to improve his quality of life? Now he is up walking, can see and drive! Can hear (bi lateral aids) and they have told me to go home! Fair enough, not sure what's going to happen in the near future though?
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

Thanks for your responses. The smile suggestion while not helping her is the best. Perfectly disarming without being defensive.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

To me, the reason for the resistance or refusal to use aids/canes/walkers is of significance. If the cause is just them being stubborn or wanting control, it can be dealt with and even manipulated by information, threats, etc. , but if the person has dementia, then none of those things will matter to them. I'm not sure if they just can't reason mentally or if they get it, but then forget it and don't remember that they should be using aid or cane.

If it is the dementia, the only real way to protect them is to supervise them and ensure they are using what they need. Reminders, explanations of what might happen, promising to not get them up if they fall, etc. doesn't mean much to them. Neither does nagging.

If she is living alone and behaving in ways that are unsafe, it's not wise to condone it. I'm not sure how you are related to her, but whoever is her DPOA, should look at it more closely. My loved one, who lived alone acted that way too, but the falls eventually created that crisis that put her into a facility.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.