Hi, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts or suggestions regarding communicating with my mother.
She's 78 and is in a group home. I'm not her guardian due to some complications (she has signs of mental illness where she cuts off contact with people entirely for long spells, sometimes permanently and has a lot of erratic behaviors that seem to fit being bipolar in some ways).
But she is in a home now and getting regular food and medications on time, so that's the good part.
The bad part is she has some challenges.
1. She is not a native English speaker. Her first language is German, and she still speaks with a thick accent despite being in the U.S. more than 50 years.
2. She's hard of hearing. She's never been willing to get a hearing aid or anything, but insists it's just wax buildup. (Past doctors have not found evidence of that, but we're working on getting a checkup on this again to see what may help.) The problem is she can't hear very well, and picks up maybe one-fourth of what's said. Sometimes things have to be repeated to her in a half-dozen ways and a half-dozen times before she understands, and then half the time she misinterprets it.
I've tried speaking to her in German, though mine is a bit rusty, but it doesn't help very much. Others have tried, too (her doctor speaks fairly good German) and she understands him better, but still misinterprets a lot.
So, German and English are not quite working.
I've tried writing things down for her, too, but her eyesight isn't the greatest (she often will forget her glasses or just refuse to wear them). I try for clear sentences, etc., and she either confuses things or remembers it or interprets it badly.
I'm at a loss what to do. It's extremely frustrating to speak with her since normal communication options don't work. Also, people end up speaking louder and louder to her to try and get her to understand, and all she gets out of it is that people are yelling at her.
Has anyone had luck with overcoming some similar communication challenges? Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions? I feel like I can communicate more effectively with a housecat at this point.