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My mother, 87 years old with dementia complains that she can not hear. I have taken her to the doctor, they do a hearing test and they say she is fine. No hearing aids are necessary. But when I speak to her she says she can not hear me. Anyone have the same problem or have suggestions?

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Somewhere I read people with dementia take longer to respond, up to 45 seconds, and you should be careful not be repeat a question or direction too soon and interrupt their "processing" of the original question/direction. Too many interruptions and they can become so confused and frustrated they simply stop responding to much of anything.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I am going to assume that her ears have been checked for wax build up. That is a VERY common problem.

next.
Try lowering the pitch of your voice and contrary to what you would think do not yell, yelling has a tendency to raise the pitch of the voice.
Look at your mom at eye level when talking to her. Let her see your face and read the expression you have that goes a long way in conveying what your words are saying.
Talk slowly, and distinctly, enunciate clearly.
I have read that it can take someone with dementia 30 to 40 seconds to hear then comprehend what was said and respond. In my world 45 seconds is a lifetime to wait for a reply. Give mom a bit of time to process your words.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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People with dementia can experience additional difficulties with their hearing, aside from those traditionally related to ageing. They may experience problems identifying what a sound is, or picking out one sound from another. As a result, it can be difficult for them to process and understand what they are hearing and communicate a response. This can lead to the person becoming withdrawn, as well as feelings of anxiety, frustration, confusion and distress.

Dementia can have an impact on the way a person interprets information, so their hearing may be fine, but they may find it difficult, or they may take longer, to work out what is being said to them. They may struggle to distinguish between multiple sounds or conversations. Loud or sudden noises may also startle or frighten them.

Speak to her in a deeper/lower tone of voice. Sometimes they have a hard time hearing high pitched sounds. Give it a try.........what have you got to lose? Make sure the background/room noise is at a MINIMUM also.........many people with dementia have a very hard time processing noise.

Good luck!
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Mamacare Mar 5, 2020
Hi Lealonnie,

I will try what you suggest and see how it goes.

Thank you
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My sister always says talk "low and slow" for hearing impaired, and it works. The slow part also helps with any slow processing.

Audiologist told me to always face her as she is really reading lips, even with the good hearing aids.

It is very hard to learn because the natural response is to raise your voice! (And when I raise my voice 'I' seem to think I am angry and feel frustrated so it has helped me to be more calm.

Dementia makes everything harder for her to understand. Sometimes it is not the hearing but the understanding.
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JoAnn29 Mar 8, 2020
Yes, my husband says I sound mad too.
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I know of people with dementia who complain that they can no longer see--and this is verifiably so; yet ophalmologists and optometrists can find no vision problem. The problem is that the brain can no longer process what it sees--not that things can't be seen. The optic nerve is fine but the brain isn't working. A similar thing might be happening with your mother. The problem is not in the auditory organs per se but in the brain.
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My mother did the same thing. It was finally determined that she she couldn’t understand what was being said or couldn’t think of a response that sometimes becomes their go to answer.
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Judysai422 Mar 8, 2020
Right on, Schorzman123!
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First, take her to a place where she can have her ears cleaned. Lots of people have wax that gets down deep into the ear. Don't try to fix it with a Q-tip because if this is the problem, it's too deep for that. (I wear two hearing aids, so I'm speaking from experience.)
Next, realize that lots of drugs have an effect on hearing. Have your mother's prescriptions changed recently? Look up "drugs that can damage hearing" to see a list of possible culprits, called ototoxic drugs. Even aspirin, certain antibiotics, lasix, or common antidepressants can be guilty! (here's one site: https://www.hearingaids.com/2018/03/06/the-common-medications-known-to-cause-hearing-loss/)
The antibiotic Vancomycin, for instance, causes damage to the tiny hairs in the inner ear, especially in elderly people. My "patient" went into sepsis and had to be on IV antibiotics (including Vancomycin) for four days. He then took another oral antibiotic (Cipro) for 12 days. By the end of that time, his hearing was practically gone! It has never come back.
This may not help your mother much, but the law has recently changed regarding hearing aids. In August, 2020, they will no longer have to be prescribed by a hearing aid professional and will be available over the counter. Even CVS, Walgreen's, and Costco will carry them! They won't be individualized, of course, but they will be far better than the amplifiers that are available today. You'll be able to adjust volume and range to better suit the situation. From what I understand, they will cost about $500.
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sunshinelife Mar 9, 2020
really great answer. I was thinking the same re cleansing the ears. However, a slightly warmed cold pressed castor oil...2 drops placed in one ear...then a little cotton wool to stop the oil running out. In the morning syringe out the ear with a mix of 1/3 raw apple cider vinegar and 2/3 slightly warm distilled water. This will clear the oil...and any way..I bought an ear bulb syringe in the local pharmacy
Just test the oil temp and the Apple vinegar & water temp on your wrist before you put it in...like you do with a baby bottle milk to make sure its just warm 70 at most...
The following night the other ear.
I do (& suggest) one ear per night...so the person can hear out of the other ear. Its uncomfortable not to hear...lets face it
Also a lack of calcium causes the auditory bones (in addition to the skeletal bones) to become thinner, so sound does not vibrate as well. And therefore the person cannot hear as well.
Dr Christopher has a Herbal Calcium capsules. I give my grandpa 3 with each meal..6 days a week. rest 1 day
repeat. there are no side effects as they are 'whole foods' not drugs, or active ingredients of ...And it doesn't interfere or interact with medications they may be taking. .I buy them on amazon
I have done this to my Grandpa once a year for the last 2 years and it really helps his hearing. He turns 85 this year...he can hear really w
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I did read once that Persons Who suffer from demensia or alzheimer's can find it impossible to process the words. This is why We must speak very slowly to them and very distinctly, and always at eye lever, eg never talk down on them. If a demensia Sufferer is in bed then We kneel as We speak with them.
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sunshinelife Mar 9, 2020
just as with little children...we go to their eye level when its something important and get better communication. Drinking Chaga tea helps my grandfathers comprehension and communication more than anything else i have tried. Trust me i have tried Many different natural herbs and supplements to help him. Even better than the tumeric. Plus the Distilled Water for drinking and cooking.
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My mom when she speaks sometimes has trouble getting words out. I now use a small white board and write answer choices out. If she sees the words she is able to read them clearly.
For your scenario try writing what you want to say on a white board it will make communication less stressful.
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GardenArtist Mar 6, 2020
KaleyBug, excellent idea.
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My mom says she can hear me talking but she can’t understand a thing I’ve said because it’s a big blur. That’s when I’m just trying to have a conversation with her and it’s because I talk too fast for her and just about anybody else in the world.

She sure can hear anything I don’t want her to hear even in the quietest whisper...

charK
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