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My father was ill for years and recently passed, my mother was the sole care giver. With my fathers sudden passing, my sister, brother, and I were trying to figure out what to do. I noticed my Mother was having bouts of forgetfulness and confusion. I decided to quit my job and move in with her.

First thing I did was have her medical needs met, she ignored her health while she cared for my dad. I had her hearing tested because I thought perhaps her confusion was due to her hearing loss. She admits to having constant ringing in her ears. We found out she is completely deaf in one ear and has very poor hearing in the other but she refuses to get hearing aids. She said it will make her feel old. I think it will hurt her pride to admit to having to wear them.

Sometimes she admits she forgets things and jokes about it, but most of the time she denies saying things or blames me, saying I am trying to make her crazy when I mention things she forgot she said or did.

I don't know if she is forgetful and confused because she is not always hearing what is being said, or if she is having real issues. How do I approach her doctor without offending her and her pride.

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Thank you for all of your advice.
Yes, she has had a full work up, she has cataracts, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, arthritis, low D, and is pre-diabetic.
When I say forgetfulness I mean mild episodes. She will "put things away" and forget where she put them. I usually find them in odd places, like shampoo on the back porch and the fish food in the bathroom, etc. or she will start a conversation and forget what she was going to say. She usually chuckles and says she is going senile. She has started making lists to remind herself things.
In regards to her possibly having depression. She has a new doctor who does not know about my father/her husband passing (6 months ago). My mother will not talk about my father, she says she wants to believe he is just away and will come home soon. She avoids friends because they may bring up my father. She does not act depressed, she is still in denial.
In regards to her hearing loss, my mother is starting to think others are against her, I think because she misinterprets what is being said because she cannot hear. So I think it best I be open with her. I will let my mother know I am concerned and will mention to the doctor her forgetfulness.
I have gotten tired of recapping TV shows because she missed what was said. I mute the TV (so I don't have to yell over the high volume) and tell her what just happened. Sometimes her hearing loss is comical and her denial about it. Once I forgot and sat on her bad side at Bingo and commented about the woman behind her playing 8 cards. I said it 3 times with her response each time as "What?". She finally said, "Speak up no one can hear you!" That's when the lady I was talking about said, "She said I was playing 8 cards!" I would have laughed if it wasn't for the shocked look on my mothers face.
The one thing she really enjoys is going to Bingo. They announce the numbers loudly with a microphone and show the numbers on a large board.
Thanks for letting me vent. I thought I was prepared to care for my mother. She relies on me more than I had expected. My sister says I am letting my mother use me, that my mother is more able than she lets on. At first I thought this too but not anymore.
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Oh, another thing, when my Dad's Mom wouldn't wear her hearing aids, the family decided to whisper and eventually she started to wear those hearing aids :)
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Hearing loss, forgetfulness, what about vision? Has she had a complete physical? Is she on any meds for depression? She may still be in shock from suddenly losing her husband if it was recent. Get a good work up from her primary: EKG, bloodwork, urinalysis, total eye exam.
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Good luck with the hearing aids. I don't know many people who have had success with them, but, I think it is possible. I'm not sure what the problem is, but most of the people that I know, have problems and end up not wearing them after they get them. Maybe there is an adjustment period. If she does have dementia, I would keep in mind that teaching a dementia patient to use them and keep up with them, may prove difficult.

Determining if your mom has hearing loss with mental decline may take a little time. Unless it's quite obvious, I would just keep my eyes open. Do you attend her doctor appointments with her? You might bring it up when she isn't listening just so the doctor knows your concerns.

You are in the house with her to keep an eye on her right? I'd just be careful about her cooking, going out alone or letting strangers in. I would read a lot about dementia, so you know what to look for. It's not always memory loss and repeating. Sometimes, it's using poor judgment, neglecting health, and odd behavior. My cousin would throw her banana peelings in the yard. She had no explanation for doing that.

I would make sure I had Durable Power of Attorney and Healthcare POA in hand, just in case.
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As we age we all have times where we forget things, but don't forget we also forgot things when we were much younger, too.

Whenever someone is first introduced to my Mother they probably thought she had serious dementia, but Mom was still pretty much alert for someone of 97, it was the fact that she wasn't able to hear even with hearing aids. Once she heard a word correctly, then she was able to talk about the subject with a clear mind.

With today's hearing aids, they can be on the ear and no one would even see them. Tell your Mom many famous people wear/or wore hearing aids such as Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, actress Jodie Foster, singer Huey Lewis, TV host Ed McMahon, golfer Arnold Palmer, actress Nanette Fabray, actor Ernest Borgnine, and others.

Others with hearing loss, actor Robert Redford, actor Rob Lowe, actor William Shatner, singer Ozzy Osbourne, singer Brian Wilson, singer Phil Collins.
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