My mom with dementia and hearing loss is in AL -I visited (I live 5 hrs away) and we couldn't find her hearing aids. When I asked my brother who lives there where they were he said that she lost them- I asked if she was getting a new one and he went off on me-saying I was never f'ing there -she doesn't like them-they don't work etc I called her hearing aid centre and they said she hasn't been to an appt in over 3 years. Her private nurse told me that my brother’s let her go a few months ago-they told me she found another job and resigned-I believe the nurse. These are such touchy subjects to bring up with them. In a normal family I would just say let's get mom back in to the hearing aid place next time I visit. I am reluctant because he gets so hostile-any advice on how to approach the primary caregiver for better results?

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That was a slightly grim "h'm," by the way.

The way to approach these issues without causing WWIII is to earn the right to have an opinion about them.

You earn the right to have an opinion about them by being the person who does the caregiving. Or, at least, contributes to it substantially; or has professional expertise or comprehensive, current experience to lend authority to your opinion.

You are in some danger of being a seagull sibling. This species is not popular with frontline caregivers.

If you would like to be more involved in your mother's care, ask your primary caregiving brother what you can do to help and whether there is anything your mother would like. Don't lead with your opinion about what's good for an elderly lady whom you rarely set eyes on.

And DON'T go behind his back. Seriously, what were you thinking?
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It sounds as though your brother may be suffering from significant burnout. It happens, even when a parent is in AL. Is he able to take vacations, disengage from her and have real downtime, or is he overwhelmed with constant phone calls from her and the faculty and endless Drs appointments?
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Hearing aids are a touchy subject; often people refuse to wear them, they are easily lost or broken, changing batteries is a weekly chore that is often beyond the mental of physical capabilities of our elders (and seemingly staff in facilities as well🙄) and they are very expensive to replace. It could be that brother has already fought this battle once too often and has decided mom functions well enough without them.

As for the private duty nurse... if she is in AL is it really necessary? And are you privy to the cost involved and the ability of mom to continue to pay it long term?
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I think you are right about the hearing aids being a struggle and he may be tired of it- she doesn't function well without them though and new models could be much better and she would be able to engage more-
The nurse was twice a week and was very good for my mom-she helped her do her exercises , got her outside, talked , etc- More like a companion

I just need advice on how to approach these issues without causing WWIII
You know your family. There’s no magic statement that will make unreasonable people into reasonable ones.

Also, even if they cannot communicate that doesn’t mean they don’t have perfectly good reasons for why they do things.

Also, I know you just want to be helpful but the sheer aggravation your bro has had to endure isn’t even possible for you to fathom. So don’t come rolling into town telling bro how he can fix things.

Good luck!
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Anonymous, the old Indian proverb, “Don’t judge unless youv’e walked a mile in my moccasins.” No one is deliberately being harsh with you so please don’t take it that way. My own children who live a half hour away have no idea of the reality of caring for their bedridden dad, and they don’t ask. In their favor, they don’t interfere either.

My mom lost two pairs of glasses in her facility and sat on another pair. She threw our her partial, a myriad of toothbrushes and combs and makeup I brought her. Then she’d say someone stole it. I did the best I could and let the other stuff go. She had macular degeneration and glasses wouldn’t have helped. I took her to the opthomologist once and that was it.

If you don’t want to step on your brother’s toes in those moccasins I mentioned before, then don’t. Keep your own counsel. Read some of the posts of those of us on the front lines. It’s eye opening.
Helpful Answer (5)

Your brother being the primary caregiver is enmeshed in all issues mom - big and small. It sounds like he is having serious burnout. Simply ask him "I know it is all on you - what can I take over for you" and you'll get a L I S T. Then do it. No criticism of him or how he handles things. It is easy to look from the outside and think things should be done differently.

I agree with the other posters about the hearing aids. My dad is in nursing home - constantly loses them (he wraps them in tissue and forgets and throws out the tissue). He hates wearing them. The batteries are impossible and expensive.
Helpful Answer (4)

anonymous810070, if your brother has been the primary caregiver for your Mom chances are high that he is crashing and burning from the exhaustion.... yes, even if your Mom is in Assisted Living.

It's like having a part-time job on top of a full-time job if one is still employed. Never getting any time off due to all the phone calls, appointments, trips to the ER, buying supplies, managing Mom's financials, visiting couple times a week, etc. I know I was overwhelmed.

Oh my gosh, hearing aids. My Mom's hearing doctor said there wasn't anything more she could do for Mom as her hearing was too far gone. Mom was determined that there were hearing aids out there that would work for her. We ran from one hearing aid place to another to another to another. Some would barely help but there was constant user error.

Eventually when my Mom went into long-term-care, the hearing aids because useless, plus my Mom was always misplacing them. So I can understand why your brother wasn't gun-ho to get new hearing aids for your Mom.

Sounds like you don't have boots on the ground on a regular basis to help your brother to know everything that he is going through. I know for myself, when my parents were in memory care and in long-term-care I never got a full nights sleep due to all the anxiety.
Helpful Answer (3)

You are trying to micromanage from a distance which happens to be one of the biggest complaints from first line caregivers. Your persistance may lead to him further distancing from you. You expect a person with a toddlers mind manage hearing aids on her own, and she refuses them. They cost from 2 to 6 k and there is a possibility she can lose them the next day. Do you see how well meaning your expectations are and you will not even be with her 24/7 to protect the devices rather than helping your brother with her care?
My mom made hers disappear in AL. She insists that she does not have a hearing problem so we go with the flow.
Helpful Answer (2)

the hearing aids are fully insured-and she is due a new set -was due 2 years ago-they don’t go to appointments-
I asked how to approach a subject of taking her for a new test- got told off and cussed out
Backstory- I was there as my dads caregiver when he was diagnosed w pancreatic cancer-I moved in my parents house in NY -I live in Canada-until he died months later -with my young teen daughter living in Canada without me very hard-and then had my own daughter’s 9 surgeries in 3 years out of state at a specialized hospital in Florida to deal with-my brothers all knew I had that going on -no help at all just the bs post good luck with the surgery

So ok
I will not interfere with his decision to not to get hearing aids
Even though it is completely covered by insurance
And not say a word that he fired her nurse that my Dad had loved and felt like family -because my brother thought she was too expensive/
My mom was paying
but I am out of line because I am not there enough
They also gift thousands of dollars to their kids at Christmas from my mom-
Again no one can ask any questions about-He told me to F off when I asked if mom wouldn’t need that money
My mom by the way is in a full care facility my brother stops by
With his laptop and watches basketball
Helpful Answer (1)

Anon, you wrote:

"..... she doesn't function well without them though and new models could be much better and she would be able to engage more- ". Sorry, but you're not listening to what we're saying.

First, have you been aroundher long enough to determine how she functions with or without the aids? Do you know the difference between older and newer models? (besides the outrageous price?) Do you know for a fact that she WANTS to interact?

Living with someone provides insight into their character, wishes and desires that visitors may never see or observe.

First, experience with folks who have hearing aids will reveal that many won't wear them, new or old, cutting edge technology or not. They're not easy to insert and not easy to remove.

And the batteries have to be changed frequently. Sometimes it's hard for older hands to manipulate little hearing aid batteries and devices. Sometimes they just get tired of trying. Sometimes as life becomes more challenging, they lost interest in interacting.

This is what you're not seeing and why you're worried about "starting WWIII" - you have your opinion but your brother has experience.

That's not a criticism, but you have to rely on his experience with some aspects of care with which you're not familiar.

And trying to convince him to accept your suggestions is only going to antagonize him.

Step back, learn, and be an apprentice before you become a master. I remember that famous scene in Star Wars when Yoda shakes his head at Luke Skywalker, who hasn't yet learned that Yoda has much more life experience and wisdom than "Young Skywalker" has.
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