My mother says she hears what a person says but does not understand. Is this normal? - AgingCare.com

My mother says she hears what a person says but does not understand. Is this normal?

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My 91 yr old mother say she hears what a person says but does not understand. Is this normal?

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My MIL with vascular dementia can still read but most of the time she doesn't know what it means. She can read something out loud and have no idea what she just read. Since her short term memory has been slammed by her dementia, I think that's the problem. Long term memory is where her ability to read is stored.
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I suffer hearing loss and can't afford hearing hearing aids at this time. There are times when the volume is almost loud enough for me to hear, but not quite loud enough for me distinguish what is being said. Other times, when people speak fast, it just sounds like some foreign language. I find myself having to concentrate harder on conversations if I really want to participate in them, and they are much more difficult in room with background noise.
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It sounds like a typical loss of hearing to me. I have the same problem at age 76. I have experienced it for years. Volume is a problem, but the biggest problem I have is understanding the words correctly. It helps to have the person who is speaking to me look at me while they speak. Rapid speech, the hallmark of youth, is a problem also. When hearing loss occurs, it doesn't simply affect the ability to hear -- it mainly affects the ability to distinguish similar sounding words. I would agree with jeannegibbs in that the first step would be a hearing exam.
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Maybe not "normal" but it is one of the processing issues of Alzheimer's. I have the same situation. I've tried to talk to MLI about a hearing aid. Her answer...I hear what you people say I just don't understand. I used to think it was talking louder that helped with conversation but it 's getting her attention and talking slowly that really helps her. I also make her repeat things so we are both sure she understands. I try to use terminology from her european heritage to help get my meaning across as well. It's funny how we have no problem comunicating...but when we are in a social setting I have to carry on like an interpreter. I have to be aware of her causal answers...she is being polite and really doesn't understand and needs to be brought into the conversation. The biggest issue I have had to date is the bank...as long as she is there and smiling and nodding anyone can get the bank to do anything...."It's not up to the bank to determine competence we are here to do as the customer wants" So even though she didn't sign any documents they changed her account. Once it was explained to her what happened she was very upset and keep crying I refused to sign the paperwork how could anything change? Beware!... The bank has admitted their mistake....and can't guarantee it won't happen again.
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My mother has this problem. I often have to say things three times. It takes once to get her attention, twice for her to hear, and three times for her to process the words. Some days are worse than others. It is probably a combination of hearing loss and neural decline. I try to speak loudly enough in a place where she can see me and don't use long sentences. That helps a lot.
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Sounds like the result of a stroke to me. Could be wrong, but....
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What is your mother's overall health...hearing impaired, dementia? Having more info on her health situation would be helpful so we can understand more clearly what you are dealing with. Please let us know.
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She perhaps hears noises but not distinctly enough to identify the words. I'd start with a professional hearing test.
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