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cadigirl55: My 92 year old mother is having the same thing now. It seems to have gotten worse the past couple of weeks. What did you do 3 years ago?
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Ok - I had to pass along this story because it is related to this topic (sorry if it's graphic). My mom's gastro dr wants her to do a stool sample. Yesterday afternoon, the lab gave us 3 little vials - there's a stick attached to each lid. They said to "stir" the stick in the stool, & just place it back inside the vial, closing the lid tightly. The instructions are to do this once a day for 3 days (for comparisons). When we got home, I showed her the vials, explained in short & simple sentences what to do starting today, in case she didn't hear the lab tech. She said "I know - I've done these before, you know..." Ok - fine. I put the kits in the bathroom for her. This morning she asked if I was going to bring the samples to the lab today. I said no - not until Friday when you're done with them. She said "well there's only 1 left, so you can bring it today" I said "wait - you didn't already use 2 of them, did you? The samples have to be 24 hours apart" Her response was "well, yes, I've had to pee twice since yesterday, and by the way, it's almost impossible to get anything inside of those little vials!" Yes...she attempted to get URINE into the vials!!! At this point I had to leave the room because I didn't know whether to laugh or cry - I was soooo frustrated!!!! I was POSITIVE she understood what they were for - she KNEW he wanted stool samples (testing for occult blood in her stool, which she KNEW), as she has had to do them in the not-so-distant past. I honestly think she does this stuff just to drive me insane (it's working, by the way) - either that, or she is truly starting to lose it (along with me). So now I have to go back to the lab & get more kits, which will be a fun one to explain. Is it time to have her tested for dementia??? I am honestly at a loss with this one!
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My mom does this frequently and nothing wrong with her hearing. She is 90. I found that I do have to repeat myself and also slow down what I'm saying because it takes her longer to process. Also, if it is something she doesn't want to hear (instructions, dr diagnosis, need for more care, etc. -- unpleasant topics) then she shuts down and doesn't "hear it" or remember it. "Selective hearing or processing" so to speak.
I found that if it is something I really need her to hear or understand; I have to hold both her hands, look her face to face and repeat slowly. Then I do this later to make sure she has processed and heard me.

Just some thoughts.
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i would follow up with vw9729 's advice re ear wax first. every 6 months or so my family member can't hear . I learned that all it takes is an appt to get ear wax removed. I first put in an ear wax softner like debrox or similar generic 5 days before to soften the wax to make it easier to remove. After you rule out wax, you can look into other things.
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The fastest way to drive me crazy is to say, "Huh?" or "Wha'?" then wait for me to repeat myself and say, "I don't know why I said that. I heard everything you said." Sometimes the huhs and wha's are just knee jerk reactions of my mother. So irritating -- like Chinese water torture.
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I often wonder if my mom is processing what she does hear. There are times that I swear she is hearing everything we say - we are making eye contact, she is making appropriate responses, etc. but then she'll come out of left field with a comment totally unrelated to what we were just talking about. Is that something for her doctor to check into, or is that an audiologist??
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I often have to say things three times to my mother -- once to get her attention, once so she can hear it, and once so she can process what I said. It does make me very tired and irritable to do it, but there's little that can be done about it. We could amplify, but it wouldn't help with the processing.
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My mom is the same way. She will have you repeat things 3, 4 sometimes 5 times & still insist there is nothing wrong with her hearing! If after that many times we have repeated something, she'll say "ooooooh...." and the way she says that, we KNOW she didn't hear a darn thing we just said - she's just pretending she did. Like your Mom, hers has come on gradually, but it seems the past year it has gotten noticeably worse, so I understand what you mean by "overnight". I told my Mom that I felt it was rude for her to expect everyone to repeat themselves so many times when she just says "huh?" "what?" "oooooooh". It just makes caring for them (which is stressful enough) that much worse.
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I guess I didn't phrase it just right, she didn't truly loose it overnight, it has gradually gotten worse over the past 3 months. The strange thing is she seems to hear fine when on the telephone, but the TV for example has to be on 34 if she has her way. There is no way we can be in the same room with her at that level. Anytime we attempt to talk to her we try to get her "undivided" attention or else you will repeat 3 times! It is just so frustrating for us. We find ourselves just not talking rather than repeat, repeat, which isn't good for her. I guess the more I talk, the more I am sounding really burned out. We are starting our 6th month & some days I seriously don't think I can provide care another day. Thanks for listening & any suggestions are really appreciated!
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If she lost her hearing overnight, your mother-in-law needs to be examined by a physician. She could have a wax build-up in her ear canal, and they will have the equipment to see it. Or it could be something more and possibly serious. Regardless, please have her examined. This is not normal with the aging process. Please keep us informed. We care. ((HUGS))
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If it was sudden and profound I would wonder if she had a stroke that affected the auditory area of the brain. There are other things that may be at work, however. Hearing requires that we receive, process, then interpret what we hear. Anything that gets in the way of any of these three things can cause what looks like hearing loss. Is losing hearing just part of aging? Yes, for many people. Is sudden loss of hearing normal? No. It would mean something is going on, but it is hard to say just what.
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