Follow
Share

She uses older style hearing aids (she can't manage the newer ones). She can't hear on the telephone...only gets about 10% of the conversation even when I isolate words and speak slowly. We got a special phone from the phone company but it doesn't work any better. We don't know if it is hearing or understanding that's the problem because of her significant dementia. But she calls 7 or so times a day and calls continuously if I don't answer, but she can't hear what I say to her. What to do?

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Find Care & Housing
kjn is a spammer. He/she is good at it, making it look like actual parts of the thread and sliding in the company name and services.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Thanks Sophe. You certainly do understand. It really hit me the day after I had driven 80 miles round trip to take her to a hearing aid specialist and get new aids. The next day she told my sister she hadn't seen or heard from me in weeks! She denied ever going to get new hearing aids. That's when I knew for sure that she would never remember much about me. She says thank you when I bring her food and snacks, but I'm sure she has no idea how they got there (or if they are there) five minutes later. Its so sad.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

AmyGrace: Boy I know that feeling. It seems that on top of losing their memory, they lose their ability to hear, to read, to communicate. All your hard work, your sacrifices of time and self, they are not remembered. There is no gratitude, no memory, only need. It's tragic. For them, for us. About all that's left is in-person miming, holding hands and smiles. My Mom has no idea how anything arrives in her room, why it does, what it is, what to do with it. She doesn't recognize her great-grandson any more. Checking with staff is probably the best idea. Good luck.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sophe, its so difficult. Here I am with a broken ankle. I can't drive or walk so I can't visit her. When I visit her, its frustrating, and usually ends up being contentious anyway. I can't phone her. She never calls me. Its as if I don't exist to her any more. It hurts because I've done so much for her over the past five years. I feel like I've abandoned her, I don't know what she is thinking. When she tries to use the phone, she calls my sister, not me (even though it ends the same, she can't hear her and hangs up) Obviously my note didn't work at all. I'll wait until Monday when full nursing staff is there and call to see how she is. That's about all I can do.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

AmyGrace, so far the phone assistance people have not come up with a phone for cognitively impaired hard-of-hearing/deaf people. So now I either send a Presto note or call the facility and tell her caregiver whatever the message is. You would think there would be a solution, but I haven't seen one that works with deaf dementia cases.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I'm having the same problem. I haven't talked to Mom in 3 weeks. She doesn't pay attention when we show her how to use the new hearing aids with the phone. She can't hear a word I say because she is pushing the receiver against her lower ear instead of putting it on the hearing aid. I call her, she says she can't hear me and hangs up on me. Her dementia is getting so bad I don't know how to help her. I know she couldn't follow a text phone. She has to keep re-reading a note over and over because she forgets what she read in just a few minutes. I just mailed her a letter with a diagram of how to hold the phone so I can talk to her. She hasn't called me. I'm going to try again tomorrow.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

kin1001, those voice to text software are great for the much younger crowd... when you get to our age and the age of my parents [90's] speed reading is out, if one can still see well enough to even read the first line. We can't even keep up with the message crawl that is underneath the TV news :(
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Can she read ok? There is some voice to text software, even on cell phones where you can speak and it will type out what she is saying. Of course there are captioned telephones as well where she can use it like a regular phone but she would read out what the other caller is saying. They have some with very large screens too!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

kjn1001 Thanks for the suggestion. I have tried an amplified phone from the free phone for the deaf/hearing-imparid people. It just does not work for her and anything the least be technical, even a button, is beyond her. This last week my husband was visiting her because I was out of town and we made a Skype connection for free of course and while she could not understand me, at least she could see me and I mimed a few things toward her. We are going to be down to signing and drawing/writing. Husband was able to interpret what i said. This communications with her just sucks. You need to develop a device that a person with serious mental impairment and hearing loss can use: a video phone with no buttons and the mother of all loudspeakers on it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Take a look at amplified telephones. We have over 85 of them and some of them will amplify up to 67dB for severe hearing loss.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Sophe509, thank you so much for this information :) I went to the website and it sounds like something my parents could use. I will ask Dad what he thinks, as he rarely can get into his email because he's on dial-up in a high-speed world in our area.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Learn something new every day - I'd never heard of Presto!
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Here's the info on the Presto.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Well, we've worked out a temporary solution. She calls and tells me whatever her concerns are and I send her a Presto back to her room with a summary of the call and whatever info/advice I had for her. It may be a couple hours before it prints out but at least it is in writing and she can still read, it seems. How long can Alzheimers people continue to read and understand what they are reading, does anybody have experience with that?
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

Sophe509, I know what you are going through as my Mom [97] can no longer hear even with two hearing aids... there just isn't anything more the doctor can do for her.

The last telephone I bought her has a *boost* button to increase the volume.... but it doesn't help much at all. And since Mom is almost blind, a telephone with a voice typed screen wouldn't be much help.... [sigh].

Forget cellphones or iPhones... even I can't hear very well on those... terrible connection and sound... bet young kids today think that is how all phones sound as they never witnessed the true clarity and sound of a landline, with no fade in and out, or disconnects or dropped calls :)
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

Sophe; it sounds as though her dementia is advancing, and I'm not sure if this is a "stage" or what. But she certainly needs help to get through it, whether it's behavioral or chemical. Changes of mental status should always be reported to her doctor, right away. They can signal a UTI or other infection, amazingly (I didn't know that until I started hanging out here). So if this is new, I'd call her doc right away. Sadly, at some point, she may need more care than the AL can provide for her. Keep us updated; we all learn from each other here.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

ba8alou...good questions. She is oftentimes agitated, she is asking me to come over and visit a while, or needs me to do some laundry, or am I coming on Sunday morning (I have never missed a Sunday morning), she's lonely, or she just had a bath, etc. Mom has never been a nice person and dementia doesn't help any.
I pay the staff extra to come by and get her for activities so she's plenty busy. I'm taking her to the doctor again this week to address the agitation issue. Yes, she can hear and understand fairly well when we talk face-to-face, so good point that the comprehension is still reasonably good. The phone from the state we got her has a speaker phone but she won't use it. So I'm just wondering what others are doing that encounter this...
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

My dad has hard of hearing. But refuses to get hearing aid. He would hit the speaker phone button on the cordless and was able to converse. Lately, that's no longer working. So one day, while he was trying to talk to my brother, I hit the Speaker phone button on the main phone equipment. When I did that, my dad was able to finally hear my brother. My dad still thought it was from his cordless phone but it was really loud and clear from the main phone's speaker. I tried not to giggle as he and my brother conversed. Bro did not know that I had put it on speaker. But, hey, it worked. For now.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

When she is on the phone, take out the hearing aid. They cause interference on the phone. And get a phone that the volume can be increased.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

How is her comprehension of spoken language in person? Why is she calling you 7 times a day? If she is in Assisted Living, can staff help her with whatever her issue is at the moment? Or can she have staff call you so that she can relay the message to you through them.

I would be concerned that she's calling you so much. Is she not engaging in activities? Or does she not realize that staff is there to help (it took my mom a long time to get used to calling the desk, not my brother, when something was broken)? Or is there a problem that she needs solved?

I'm sorry to answer your question with so many questions, but more information would allow us to be me helpful.
Helpful Answer (2)
Report

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