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When she is watching TV she tells me she can not hear it but when I talk with her in a quiet room she hears and understands. The TV volume is fine. Could it be they are talking too fast on the TV for her to understand what they are saying or could it be her hearing aids? Anyone else have this experience.

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I don't know the older I personally get the more difficult it becomes for ME to understand some TV programs. My mother, sister and I can all be watching TV and Mom will say, "What did they just say?" and my sister and I reply, "I don't know it seemed garbled." Is it that we are all aging, is the the new TV's is it the poor enunciation of the people on TV??? I do not know but I personally know that I am finding it difficult to hear thus understand TV conversations at different times.
It is maddening and I do not want to blame it on Alzheimer's.

There is noise in the background and laugh tracks which can also cause individuals to miss parts of the conversation.
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My husband can no longer follow TV shows more than about 15 minutes before he becomes frustrated. I don't think the problem is hearing as he can follow a real conversation where 1-2 people are talking. If there are more than 2-4 characters in a show or if they talk very rapidly, he can't understand what is going on. He has problems conversing with me, especially when I change topics too fast. I don't think captions would help as they flash too rapidly to be read by him.
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What about closed caption? Test out on a movie or show in foreign language and see if she can read the dialogue before investing in a set???
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My Mom has dementia and sever hearing loss. With her hearing aid she can hear a little bit of language in one ear. I've noticed that she tries to be looking directly at the person she wants to hear, so I know she is also reading their lips. The hearing doctor told me that your ears lose the ability to hear language before they lose the ability to hear noises. That explains a lot of the difficulty with TV, because the background noise is drowned out the conversation in their ears, even if the person with fine hearing can distinguish the difference. Hearing loss is also very isolating and it compounds the problems with dementia, this is really obvious in my Mom's case.
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I've been dealing with this problem for decades with my vet husband and until I got hearing aids myself did not understand the problem. Some t.v. stations and programs (movies) have different settings on their volumes than others. So you can be watching a program, switch to a different station, and you cannot hear what they are saying. Have her hearing aids checked for their accuracy. You can also buy a device that allows you to use ear phones and you can set the volume to your liking. The VA gives vets with a hearing disability a really neat device from Germany and it works great. The other issue is dementia robs the person of the ability to follow a story on t.v. I ask my husband to explain what is going on all the time and he usually cannot tell me. It becomes more and more difficult for them to process this information, much like reading a newspaper where they will read a page and reread it over and over. For now, address the t.v. issue and hearing aids, and the time will come when she will not be able to watch t.v. and understand anything. Best wishes and thank you for taking care of her!
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I am a 77 years old male and am experiencing hearing loss. I can tell you that the music on most every TV program tends to drown out the important conversations taking place. It really adds nothing to the show, but seems to be a requirement on the part of the writers. Also, crowded places tend to limit my ability to hear and to distinguish what is being said to me. I have hearing aids, but they tend to amplify the background noise as well as those things that I want to hear. The only TV programs that aren't competing with music seem to be the sitcoms. I guess that one has to choose programs that he or she can hear and ignore all the dramas.
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You are probably on the right track there. My mom has very mild dementia and a hearing problem. When it's just one person talking, she hears fine. If there's several people having a conversation, she says the words just get jumbled together and she can't sort them out. It may be that the television is the same way for your wife; too many people talking. It's probably hard for her to switch her concentration from one speaker to the next on tv, especially with all the music and background noise that most programs have. Try a calmer program maybe? Something where mostly just one person is talking and the background music isn't very loud. Not sure that that program would be! But see if she follows that type of program better. Good luck!
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