My mother is hard of hearing and seems to misinterpret everything I say. When I speak louder she thinks I am angry at her. Any suggestions?

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My mother is 92 and home from rehab. She has had a hearing problem for many years but will not wear a hearing aid. Everything I say to her she misinterprets and accuses me of trying to fight with her, which I am not. Having a conversation with her is very difficult. This is not a new issue but it is wearing me down to have to explain and rephrase and still be misunderstood. I am in my 60s and she talks to me like I am stupid. She lives in my house.

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Top Answer
"she talks to me like I am stupid. She lives in my house."
That would be a deal breaker for me.
Use a notebook and write in it what is important for her to hear. Or write routine messages on cards. Dinner is ready. Time for your meds. I'm going out. Whatever you routinely have to tell her. If she misunderstand your words, just write it down. No fuss needed.
Ignore her when she is ugly or misinterprets. I bet if you get on the phone and start calling around for ALFs she will pick up on that.
My husband and I both have poor hearing and need to get hearing aids. Sometimes I tease him and act like I'm talking when I am only moving my mouth without actually speaking. It's usually after he has gone off on a tangent thinking he heard one thing when another was said. He knows what I'm doing but we get a laugh out of it.
My parents were the best at that. My dad would misunderstand what my mom had just said and he would answer her about something they both found more interesting and my mom would go with his topic. Those standing nearby didn't have a clue what was going on. They (parents) knew they had misunderstood but were good natured about it. That's hard to do when you already are having a hard time with the person you are trying to communicate with.
You might consider alternatives the next time she goes to rehab. You don't have to bring her home. You are doing so because you want to. Remind yourself of that.
You have to lie down before someone can use you as a door mat. Any time you are making all the concessions yet the other person is not happy, an adjustment is needed in their expectations. For you to go through all that and they still complain, well, maybe you aren't the right person for the job.
I agree with timbuktu's suggestion to make sure your mom is looking at you before you start to speak. My mom had some form of dementia (no short-term memory and her reasoning skills were shot). I found with her I had to get her attention and then w-a-i-t for a second or two to speak so she could engage her brain (I assume) to listen to me and pay attention. If I didn't do that, she'd invariably say, "HUH?" That nearly drove me insane!

The other things I discovered was I, so her brain could process my words. I spoke LOUDLY and cut down on the words I used. The shorter the sentences, the better she could hear and understand me. When I used those tricks, we'd do OK. But the minute I'd start talking without her looking at me or I went to fast or didn't go LOUD enough or used too many words, "HUH" is what I'd get. ARRRRGH!!!!! It can be frustrating as all get out.
After many disagreements with Mum over when I said I would be round next, for example I would say, ‘I’ll be round tomorrow at 2:30’ but when I got there she would say in an accusatory tone, ‘you said you would be round at 12, I thought something had happened, I’ve been waiting for you’, I got a little notebook which I leave by the phone and I write down, ‘Tuesday 7th November, Angela will be round at 2:30 to take you shopping’, she now knows to check the notebook to see what’s planned, which has made things a lot easier.
I hope you find a workable answer, because I've been living with this for years -- plus so much more. Its so bad at times that I don't even want to talk to my mother anymore, because I'm tired of raising my voice and repeating myself. Our cat runs out of the room when I have to do it -- the poor thing must be getting PTSD!! My mom has moderate dementia, and she sometimes doesn't even know what her hearing aids are for. She takes them out three or four times a day and then asks me why she can't hear anything. I have to keep putting them back in and remind her why she needs to wear them. Sometimes she throws them in the trash, and I have to sift through it to get them back. I'm sure the neighbors can hear me outside when I'm trying to get something through to her. Her memory lasts for as much as a minute or two, so notes don't help. She can still read, but she can't retain it. For me, there is no solution, but perhaps your mom has enough wits about her that she might eventually "cave" and get hearing aids. Sounds like it would have to take something powerful, like getting a visit from a long-lost, much-loved relative and not being able to talk with them, or not being able to talk to grandchildren. But maybe your mom might be the type who blames her lack of hearing on others ("he mumbles," is one I used to hear). In spite of my mom's hearing loss, she is a chatter box, often not giving me enough time to respond, or she repeats the same questions and comments within a minute or so from saying them previously. When my mom "had her mind," which was years ago -- we talked about all the things she was missing by not getting hearing aids. She didn't notice that she couldn't hear the birds sing, the rustle of wind in the trees, crickets chirping at night, the sound of a whisper, or things she'd once loved but had forgotten. But really, I had to get relatives in on it to convince her they were necessary, because the relationship she has with me is "different" -- I've been with her all along. We're too familiar to each other. We argue; she doesn't respect my opinions anymore, etc. She's stubborn as a mule. With others, she listened more, because they were outsiders and could be more objective. At any rate, I'm rambling. Best of luck to you, and keep us posted on how the fight is going. God bless.
I am 90 and my audiologist told me that I could try an hearing aid but it would not work. I did try it and all it did was just making louder all the noises including my own voice and driving me nuts but I still could not make out correctly what people was saying unless they were speaking slowly and not loud. The diagnosis was hearing dyslexia that has to do with the brain and not with the hears. The brain becomes slower and cannot scramble properly the sounds it receives from the hears. It is fairly common in the elderly, Now I ask people to speak slowly and clear and I get by almost well by reading the lips and using my imagination to fill the gaps left by my brain.
Ask the specialist before spending a fortune in a hearing aid or just buy one you can return for a fee the way I did.
Just don't shout, it drives everybody with hearing problems crazy.
Be patient. Best wishes.
First I would rule out anything medical. Has she had her ears checked for wax buildup? Has she been screened for dementia? Also, this is easier said than done, but try not to take her put downs of you personally. You are not stupid and you know that. You may now be dealing with someone who is hard of hearing and now with dementia.Keep communication simple, my husband is hard of hearing and I have learned to not even try to speak to him unless he is looking directly at me, I even sometimes to get his attention quickly stamp my foot on the floor, the vibration he feels is our mutually agreed upon code for "I need to talk to you" without me having to yell. We have been married for 33 yrs. and developed our own "sign language". Again you may be dealing with dementia on top of a hearing loss. I know this has to be very frustrating for you as she lives in you home. Please keep us updated and share anything that works for your situation with us because there are a lot of people on this site that are in your same situation that could use the info. Hugs!
Agree with Blannie, make face contact first, keep words succinct and to the point and enunciate clearly.
I have to make my father write down things too. He hears what he wants to hear. Every Thanksgiving my brother in law would pick him up at noon. Been doing this for year. Last year he moved into AL so my daughter went to pick him up at noon. He was told this several times. However he wanted to go at 10am so he had been sitting in the lobby for two hours waiting for my daughter. Did he call me to see if he got the information incorrect? No, he called my aunt who had nothing to do with our Thanksgiving gathering. Who then called me and started a bit to do. I have no sympathy for those who expect others to make accommodations for them when they won't help themselves (hearing aids). I refuse to repeat myself or raise my voice too many times. My father would do the same thing and say HUH? even when he heard me the first time. When I realized that I refused to repeat myself.
My MIL has had hearing problems as long as I've known her. She's now in a nursing home with dementia. After years of refusing hearing aides we finally got her to wear them. It was a nightmare. She couldn't get them in, didn't turn them on, lost them, threw them in the garbage etc. She couldn't hear anything we'd say and it was very frustrating for her and anyone visiting her. The nursing home suggested we try the SuperEar Sonic Ear Personal Sound Amplifier. I found it on Amazon and it actually worked for her. After all these years she can actually have conversations without us yelling. She doesn't mind wearing the headphones. We keep them in her drawer and take them out when visiting. Who would have thought that after years of fighting her with expensive hearing aids a $50 microphone with headphones would work!
My mom is the same. Sooooo frustrating. Sometimes she misunderstands on purpose as well. The TV volume is so high too and I refuse to yell over that.
We've developed a hand signal language for the daily basics. It just happeneed over time but it works

Important info is written out. We have an info wall for everyone to stay in the know, which includes a white board where reminders etc are written as well.

TV must be muted for conversation.

And finally,
"I'm sorry, I can't talk with you if you don't have your hearing aid in"

For the most part it works well. I think she figures that because she has the disability it's our problem on how to communicate not hers. Which leads us to "help me to help you otherwise this isn't going to work for anybody"

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