Mom has selective hearing. Anyone else experiencing this? - AgingCare.com

Mom has selective hearing. Anyone else experiencing this?

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I have been sort of watching out for my mom (she lives a mile away) and she does have dementia. Both good and bad days. You know, where sometimes she's sharp as a tack and others, yikes!
One thing I'm noticing -- and she has issues with me, as I do with her, so that complicates things -- is she does not listen to me.
We had a social worker come by last week, and this lady was going over some options to make things easier for me (the only family she has) and for her.
My mom did listen to some things this lady said (and unfortunately got some things wrong, because she doesn't hear and doesn't listen well).
But I do notice my mom does not want to listen to me. I try to explain things to her: For example, her doctor has given her two prescriptions to be filled at Meijer because they are free there. My mother first was happy because she saves a few bucks. (Guess who has to go pick them up for her, though, among a bunch of other stuff?) Now, she's confused, and says "oh the doctor is obsessed with me going to Meijer for some reason." I tried to explain it's a way to save some money: These two types of pills are free. They don't cost you anything, etc. I try to say it in a few different ways hoping it'll stick, but it doesn't.
I get frustrated and it doesn't help things, but I notice she does not listen to me. My husband can say something to her and she'll listen better.
I know some of it is old age and confusion and being hard of hearing, but I'm being driven crazy because I swear she is just blocking me out. Then she accuses me of not listening, but she's actually accusing me of what I think she is doing! It's gotten to the point where it's nearly impossible to have a conversation with her.

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Let's not forget the *parent-child* dynamics.... we will always be the child, thus for some parents they feel the child doesn't know what they are talking about.

In some cases, a parent will listen to the son but not the daughter even though daughter had said the same thing that the son had said.

In other cases, a doctor could say the same identical thing the grown child had said earlier, but now the parent is listening because the doctor had said it.

Yes, selective hearing !!
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And don't be surprised if you write it down that mom won't remember to look at it or will forget where it is. I have that with my mom. Makes for more frustration!
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I really thought my husband was paying less and less attention to me, and it was very frustrating. Then we got the dementia diagnosis and it fell into place better.

After tests, the neurologist said that the kind of short-term memory problem my husband had was on the intake side. His brain often could not "attend to" what he was hearing. Indeed, he wasn't paying attention, but it was because he was unable to. Knowing that made a huge difference in my frustration level.

Mom isn't listening to you, or isn't attending to what you are saying, or can't process what she hears. No amount of confronting her about it will change things.

It helped us some for me to right important things down, in addition to saying them.

It is not usual for someone with dementia to be able to live alone. Do what you can to extend that time for Mom, but I also suggest you begin looking for alternatives.
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Thanks. We do have a nurse coming a couple times a week to work with her, and she goes over medications, too, etc. My mom doesn't want them to come by anymore, though! Social worker is coming later this week, so we're going to have to address that.
You're right, though. She can't help it, but it frustrates me. She says I'm yelling or talking too loudly to her. I need to learn coping strategies.
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She is listening, but unable to process and retain the information. This is likely mid-stage dementia and it will get worse. Make sure you oversee her medications, because she will forget sometimes and take it twice other times and that leads to serious problems.
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I would imagine your mom has had cognitive decline if she has some dementia. My mom can remember some things and not remember others. There's no rhyme or reason to it. She'll forget very important things and remember things that are silly and unimportant. That stuff can drive me crazy if I let it. But I know she's not doing it on purpose, her brain is just screwed up and she can't help it.

You could harp on your mom about her listening, but if she can't help it, what good is that going to do? Best to try to work around it and let the rest go. Otherwise it will make your brain go splat from the stress! I doubt she's being obstinate - I think she probably can't process the information and store it like she used to be able to.
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