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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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I can relate to all of the answers here! My mother is 86 and has had hearing loss for a long time (years) but still screams that her hearing is "perfect" when I suggest a hearing test. I have stopped speaking to her in a normal volume because I'm so sick of repeating myself. I just start out by speaking in a louder volume than normal. She still says "What? I didn't hear you." When I then raise my voice even louder, she cringes and looks like she's been startled. Her doctor told her she needed a hearing evaluation as part of a complete geriatric assessment. She resisted and I told her that I wouldn't be calling her on the phone until she got some help with her hearing. I was having to yell into the phone every time, as loud as I could, and she would still say "You're turning your face away from the phone when you speak." Or, "There's something wrong with my phone. I can't hear you." Or, "There's something wrong with your phone." And, my favorite: "I don't have this problem when other people call me." That's because no one else calls her because she can't hear them. She did go to the ENT clinic and they did find wax blockage in one ear, with a possible infection. Now, we have to go back after that ear clears up so she can have the hearing test. To avoid having my blood pressure soar, and possibly have a stroke or heart attack, I decided to stop rep[eating myself. I will be using pen and paper to communicate with her from now on. I like the idea of a wipe board too. If the doctor prescribes hearing aids, she will resist getting them. If she gets them, she will lose them the first day. She is visually impaired and cannot see small things on the floor or table among all the other "necessary" stuff on every square inch of surface in her house. Yes, I am very frustrated, but I refuse to argue and struggle with her about anything any more. Every single suggestion is met with the comment "Everyone wants to tell me what to do." It's about control, loss of independence, and "I'm the parent and you're the child." Well, this child is 67 and not willing to have a heart attack trying to help her any more.
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Reply to guiltandanger
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"Mom, when I'm here, I will only talk to you with your hearing aids in."

Then follow through.

Or, when she talks to you, say,"Pardon?" Keep doing it until she puts the hearing aids in.

Neither way is very "nice" buy it may work.
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Reply to SueC1957
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It's about PRIDE. Most people will get reading glasses without too much resistance - but they really "balk" at the idea of needing hearing aids, even when it need is quite obvious. I've never quite understood why a person would "choose" to go around half deaf when they can "choose" to get hearing aids and only be slightly deaf.
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Reply to dragonflower
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So glad to have found this sight. My mother's hearing has gotten worse through the years and she was tested several years ago. At that time she had lost over 50 percent in one ear and more in the other. She too has every reason in the book to not get one. I really believe she thinks it's a sign that she is old and she doesn't want anyone thinking, much less knowing how old she is. What she fails to understand is that when she can't hear what people are saying and she thinks they have said something they haven't, this is a sure sign you are old and can't hear! She says we mumble and to speak clearly. It's a sad situation for everyone involved, the person who can't hear and the ones that have to repeat everything. Most people just say forget it and won't keep repeating it. I feel sorry for her and everyone else involved. Her answer is , "Well just don't talk to me." I finally told her the other day, I would like to have a conversation with her, I miss that, but I too get frustrated with repeating everything. I'm at my wits end!!!
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Reply to NoAnswersHere
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My father has Vascular dementia and hearing loss. He will grudgingly wear his hearing aids but complains about them. He only wears them for 5 minutes and takes them out and puts them in his pocket or on the table or under his pillow, etc. I don't believe he is doing it on purpose but finds something odd in his ears and removes them. I put them back in but, presto, they are out in a flash. I am at a loss because he will agree with me about wearing them, but never does.
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Reply to RobinRenee
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Any, even small amount, of physical Activity must occur first, before communicating anything - even something simple,
Get their COMPLETE attention before saying anything of relevance,
Make a game of "what did I say?" to have them repeat it or just paraphrase - this is key and must happen before moving on,
Then, "put your hearing aid in now, thank you",
Then wait.
Until they do.

This is a ritual that you must carry out diligently, every time, even for the simplest of communications, until, one day soon, they will put the hearing aid in as a habit, the moment you walk into the room or shout from another room.

I dont know why this works.

It works.
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Reply to Skiphead
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I get gibberish back....I would LOVE to hear "huh?"....what I get, when I ask if mine needs more to eat is "alabamy making beat?" "DO YOU WANT MORE TO EAT?" "oh, I was close, eat, beat" ALL DAY. I said I am not going to cook unless the headset for the TV was on, and if they want to pay for take out every day, they can blast the TV all they want. ....funny, the headset became a money saving device......when that happened, I was like. huh? something worked? yeah, frustrating..........
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Reply to ruthieruth
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I had my mom's hearing tested though she protested. I was visiting from away for a short period of time. I am the oldest daughter and I wear hearing aids. So does my Dad. One day outside, I lost one of my hearing aids and despite being on hands and knees never found it. I ended up buying a different pair from the same company that my husband used. Instead of donating my other pair after I replaced the hearing aid, I thought about my mother. She hates to spend money, so I thought that maybe she would wear my old ones. My nephew-in-law was even a sales/adjuster person for these type of aids. They are the ones that hardly show. Since she was fitted with them, they have remained on the kitchen table. She refuses to wear them with her excuse that she doesn't want to depend on them. After reading the above comments, I don't feel so alone. My Dad is 89 and Mom is 85. Life would be so much nicer for both of them if she acted less like a child. When I called home one time, I wanted to talk to Dad first to ask him if she was wearing them. He said no. When I mentioned them to her, she responded, I wondered when you were going to ask about them. I think that she wants the attention. What do you think?
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Reply to standupgirl
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I wish I could answer this because it's exactly the problem I'm having with my husband. And, YES, it does put a huge strain on our relationship.
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Reply to Reiver
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My husband often doesn't hear me because he's in another room or won't wear his hearing aids. I get so frustrated repeating myself. One thing I do is that, if he asks me a question from another room and I only hear part of it, I don't get up and go to him. I wait for him to come to me if it's important enough to him.
I'm not supposed to ask if he has his hearing aids in or not. I ask anyway, or visually check his ears. If he's in the same room and I can't hear him, I say so or ignore him until he speaks clearly. Often he must turn his TV down before I can hear him.
If I want to ask him something, I go to him and sit in front of him to get his attention first before I speak. That works very well.
When we're talking and I respond to him only to hear or see him leaving the room, I just stop talking and forget about what I wanted to say. Obviously I've lost my audience.
So in summary, I don't cater to his poor communication acts and do my best to help communication when I initiate it.
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Reply to Coloresue
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My mother constantly fusses about her hearing aid, but she does wear them. She heard about the study that found that people with hearing loss are more likely to get dementia. This was true of her dad, who would get angry and take his aids out. He also had dementia by the time he was 79.
I also tell my mother that I will not even attempt to talk to her when she does not have them in. She will ask me questions, without them in, and then cannot hear anything I say. This is very irritating. Getting the silent treatment by other family members is usually enough to do the trick.
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Reply to LivingSouth
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My mother is also 78 and stubborn about wearing her hearing aids. They are collecting dust in her cabinet. I am si sick of repeating myself and her telling me i never told her things of importance. I walk in her house and the t.v. is on 95. How can a person not realize they have a problem when they have the t.v. up that loud? God help us all!
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Reply to sstigmama1
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Your mother needs to sit with my mother and they can say "Huh?" "What was that?", "pardon me?", "I didn't hear you.." to each other all day long!

My parents moved in with me about 8 months ago and I sometimes think I'm going to lose my mind with the repeating myself.. I love my parents so much - but my patience are wearing thin.. My mother 75 has not even gotten to the doctor yet for the hearing aids. (We are going next month)..

She is one of those people that want to know what's going on and involved in the conversation. I really think she will be so much happier if she could hear what everyone is saying.

Not to mention everyone has to talk over the blasting TV all day & night..

One of the most annoying is when I'm talking to my son, husband or on my phone and she says "Huh"? "I'm not talking to you Mom..." Then I feel bad..

That's the worst part... I do feel bad because I get so short with her sometimes and don't mean to make her feel bad or upset.

God Love them all.. Thanks for posting - good to know we're not alone!
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Reply to RoRo23
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There are some new hearing aides that the audiologist sticks right in the ears and changes them every three months. Patient can't remove them. I have the same problem with my hubby and spoke to the audiologist and she said many of her patients don't bother to use them, Those damm things cost $2000 each!!!!!!!!
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Reply to Veronica91
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My mother does this too and I think it just started recently because it's as annoying as hell. I tried dating an older man about a month ago, and he did this, and I didn't last a week with him (there were other things too, but this is so hard to be around). It has quickly become a habit with my mother, she doesn't even let me finish a sentence without bleating, Huh? If it were pardon, I think I could stand it, but the constant huhs are driving me nuts. If I ever get like this and act so stubbornly about it, I hope someone shoots me.
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Reply to monroe
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With my mother it was purely a question of vanity "they don't look nice" (always the supreme narcissist), even though they're barely noticeable - she's been in a NH the past year (Parkinsons, dementia) where most of the residents don't notice much at all. She had a stroke four weeks ago, can't sit up by herself, can barely speak, eats next to nothing and says the same thing or asks the same question over and over again. She's deemed palliative so I guess it's just a matter of time before she passes. I visit once or twice a week to make sure she has all she needs and it's totally unhinging.
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Reply to anonymous179890
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Current update: Mom's dementia is now considerably worse. She is between stage 5 and stage 6 now. Sadly? ..her hearing loss is the least of our worries now. I really wish all of you the best. It was VERY difficult (and selfish truly) when she refused to wear them but was cognizant enough to know she should.
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Reply to karenp
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Welcome to the club Karen. I have the same problem with my husband. He does not wear them. I met his audiologist whom I happen to know and asked her to tell him to wear them. She told me a lot of wives ask her the same thing and one woman even told hubby she would divorce him if he didn't put them in
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Reply to Veronica91
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Same problem here. I gave up, just started speaking louder and slower. The problem now is Mom's aide doesn't speak or understand English that well, so I have to teach her how to talk to Mom. She is a sweetheart and I don't want to lose her. So we make adjustments and live with it. I've go more important things to worry about. So just accept the things you can not change. It made my life a lot easier. Big hugs out to you all.
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Reply to Deblove
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My mom seems to be able to hear well on the phone. And sometimes she can hear you when you are talking to her. It just occurred to me though that with her strange personality, she is kind of a nonstop talker and she does most of the talking anyway!! Maybe she is so used to hogging the conversations that it doesn't occur to her that she can't hear the other person. I always felt that she never listened to me anyway (even when she had excellent hearing, like an owl or something)
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Reply to Cycloops
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