Why does mom sound so much more confused on the phone?

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Mom is so much better in person than on the telephone. Does anyone know why? She has short term memory loss, but on the phone is so much worse. Sometimes she sounds so confused, depressed, forgetful, that I make a two hour drive to see her and make sure she is okay. I get there and she looks good, sounds good, and I'm like you seem fine, what happened? Some days I will hear from her several times in one day, asking me the same question.

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Something is distracting her, maybe the TV and it's true, when you are there, she has visual connection as well as audible. Our mom told us she could not hear people on TV if they turned away from the camera. We knew then that she was reading lips.
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I had the same issue with my mother years ago, had Mom tested with an audiologist which showed that Mom was confusing words.

Make sure your Mom is using a landline phone instead of a cellphone.... I can't understand people half the time on a cellphone, myself, because the sound is constantly breaking up.... thus I can't imagine someone with hearing issues trying to understand a caller.
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Well, if you are sure her hearing has been checked with headphones at an audiologist's, not just I think she hears OK when we are having a conversation, it is possible that on the phone she is cognitively struggling to process just words from a disemobodied voice without context, and it confuses her more than a face to face conversation would. People naturally compensate as best they can for as long as they can for small losses in thinking and mental processing power.
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Hi,
Late reply, but just now looking up short term memory loss..... My mom is the same way on the phone vs in person.....and I live across country.

Sometimes I ask her to sit up, have a drink of water, mute the tv, or move on to the next subject if she forgets something..... various things to try to focus her on being there with ME.

SOMETIMES IT WORKS! My mom is 83, 95% in bed, I
ill, but still has it (fleetingly)!

Hope you're having better luck and fewer drives.....
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No hearing loss whatsoever. Mom is also in her 70s, which of course, doesn't mean a thing, but her hearing is fine.
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Is she suffering from hearing loss? My mother seems sharper in person because she hears better when she can see your lips move and watch your expressions.
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