• All threads and posts regarding Coronavirus COVID-19 can now be found in our new area specifically for Coronavirus COVID-19 discussion.

    You can directly access this area >here<.

Hearing aids and dementia

cuppatea

Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
417
South Wales
My OH with vascular dementia has had very poor hearing for years. He tried going privately for aids some time ago, but only got relatively cheap ones and ended up sending them back as he didn't like them. He's started asking about them again. He's now in a care home but I'm worried about them going astray, although he never leaves his room. The ones I've seen are very small. I've been told NHS are as good as any. It might be that his level of understanding takes time to process what's happening. I can't find any posts on this topic. He gets wax etc in them frequently and I'm guessing this will still be an issue with private ones. Anyone any idea?
 

Cat27

Volunteer Moderator
Feb 27, 2015
11,007
Merseyside
I wouldn’t pay private for something that can easily get lost or broken. Ask the GP fir a referral to Audiology.
 

Sarasa

Registered User
Apr 13, 2018
1,024
I’d go through NHS. The aids might not be as pretty but you know they will be properly fitted. However as a long term aid wearer it might be too late for your husband to process the way things sound with aids. Unlike glasses hearing aids can’t correct hearing loss 100%, and you have to work with them to get the most out of them. One of my sister in laws thought aids would solve my mother in laws problems. I tried to help her get used to them but her brain just couldn’t compute the new things she heard. Mind you she doesn’t think she is deaf, your husband being aware might be half the battle.
 

Moggymad

Registered User
May 12, 2017
476
My mum had hearing aids from NHS. She struggled in the early stages of dementia to adjust to the clarity of sound & found it distracting bring able to hear other people's conversations. We tried adjusting them but she just couldn't adjust to them. She eventually stopped wearing them & carried on as before. We noticed as mums dementia progressed her hearing loss didn't seem to. Maybe because of the dementia people spoke to her differently, more loudly, more face to face & she could lip read a bit so got by without too much difficulty.
 

Vitesse

Registered User
Oct 26, 2016
169
My OH with vascular dementia has had very poor hearing for years. He tried going privately for aids some time ago, but only got relatively cheap ones and ended up sending them back as he didn't like them. He's started asking about them again. He's now in a care home but I'm worried about them going astray, although he never leaves his room. The ones I've seen are very small. I've been told NHS are as good as any. It might be that his level of understanding takes time to process what's happening. I can't find any posts on this topic. He gets wax etc in them frequently and I'm guessing this will still be an issue with private ones. Anyone any idea?
My husband has had hearing aids for about 15 years, long before his AD and he barely hears anything without them. Of course, now, I don’t know whether it’s his hearing or the dementia that stops him understanding things. He has NHS hearing aids but has mostly refused to wear them because they look so awful and he says they hurt his ears ( have my doubts about that). He has also had private ones for about the same time. Now the specialist says that one of his ears has deteriorated so much that he hears little or nothing through it and the hearing aid people say they can’t adjust the aid any more. Now for the dilemma, my husband wants new aids, but insists it’s the aid at fault not his ear. I’m trying to put him off, by procrastinating, but I can’t face the weeks of hearing that the new aid doesn’t work etc etc.
I don’t know what your OH would say about wearing NHS aids, but in our house it’s a no go area.
 

cuppatea

Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
417
South Wales
Hi there thanks for your replies. I wasn't clear. my oh has NHS aids, he just keeps saying he can't hear! Such a dilemma isn't it. He's had a recent test and got new NHS aids, I keep going back and forth to the hospital with them and he says they work, then he can't hear. At first he was very reluctant to wear them, at least now he keeps them in. He couldn't see either due to dense cataracts and I've had a very difficult year with visits to two different NHS consultants who basically wouldn't take him on due to his dementia and inability to lie still under a local anaesthetic. A friend had been to a private eye surgeon whom I contacted, and he did both last week under GA. Very successful, I think OH now thinks I can get his ears fixed too....
 

Spamar

Registered User
Oct 5, 2013
7,070
Suffolk
OH had hearing loss and we duly went to get aids. He swore they didn’t work, but I came to the conclusion it was his brain that wasn’t working - the brain just couldn’t process the new sounds it was receiving.
So don’t use hearing aids if your PWD has never had them before!
He never did get them to ‘work’.


 

Sirena

Registered User
Feb 27, 2018
2,141
Hi there thanks for your replies. I wasn't clear. my oh has NHS aids, he just keeps saying he can't hear! Such a dilemma isn't it. He's had a recent test and got new NHS aids, I keep going back and forth to the hospital with them and he says they work, then he can't hear.
I suspect he can hear, but he cannot decode what he is hearing.

My gran's hearing went when she was about 70, and she had (expensive, private) hearing aids which always worked really well. When she was in her early 90s she developed dementia and she became fixated that her hearing aids were no longer working and/or she had wax in her ears. She had her ears syringed, it made no difference, then kept going back to the hearing centre insisting there was something wrong with the hearing aids. There wasn't, she just couldn't make sense of what she was hearing. So I think changing hearing aids will be a waste of time and money.
 

Rosettastone57

Registered User
Oct 27, 2016
1,169
I suspect he can hear, but he cannot decode what he is hearing.

My gran's hearing went when she was about 70, and she had (expensive, private) hearing aids which always worked really well. When she was in her early 90s she developed dementia and she became fixated that her hearing aids were no longer working and/or she had wax in her ears. She had her ears syringed, it made no difference, then kept going back to the hearing centre insisting there was something wrong with the hearing aids. There wasn't, she just couldn't make sense of what she was hearing. So I think changing hearing aids will be a waste of time and money.
My mother-in-law was like this, insisting her aids were faulty. She had both NHS and later private aids, but eventually it wouldn't have mattered how good the aids were. She simply couldn't process the sounds coming in
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
My OH with vascular dementia has had very poor hearing for years. He tried going privately for aids some time ago, but only got relatively cheap ones and ended up sending them back as he didn't like them. He's started asking about them again. He's now in a care home but I'm worried about them going astray, although he never leaves his room. The ones I've seen are very small. I've been told NHS are as good as any. It might be that his level of understanding takes time to process what's happening. I can't find any posts on this topic. He gets wax etc in them frequently and I'm guessing this will still be an issue with private ones. Anyone any idea?
Oh I’ve just been through this... so if it helps
Ring the GP & ask for mobile audiologist appointment,
Yep that’s it ...
apparently it takes a couple of weeks then tadah!
I’m waiting for the tadah bit !
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
Thank you Rosettastone57 I value your opinion. Time for me to be strong again, this is never ending isn't it...
Mums poor hearing isn’t helped the the time it takes to comprehend what is being said! A good indicator is how well without aids a PWD can hear
Xx
 

Grahamstown

Registered User
Jan 12, 2018
1,636
East of England
I asked the doctor for a referral for hearing aids, got an NHS appointment in about two weeks, had a computer analysed hearing test, hearing aids were programmed to the information and fitted and off I went, all free because of my age I think. They are quite small but not the minute expensive in-ear type, but battery over the ear and a clear plastic tube to a tiny microphone into the ear. It took me about three months to get used to them and now I just put them in routinely in the morning. Whether your husband could manage them is the issue @cuppatea because they are a bit fiddly. They are good quality though and the audiologist said they were quite expensive.
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
I asked the doctor for a referral for hearing aids, got an NHS appointment in about two weeks, had a computer analysed hearing test, hearing aids were programmed to the information and fitted and off I went, all free because of my age I think. They are quite small but not the minute expensive in-ear type, but battery over the ear and a clear plastic tube to a tiny microphone into the ear. It took me about three months to get used to them and now I just put them in routinely in the morning. Whether your husband could manage them is the issue @cuppatea because they are a bit fiddly. They are good quality though and the audiologist said they were quite expensive.
Mother is at end stage dementia & manages mostly
But not sure if hearing is worse or her comprehension!
 

jenniferjean

Registered User
Apr 2, 2016
706
Basingstoke, Hampshire
He couldn't see either due to dense cataracts and I've had a very difficult year with visits to two different NHS consultants who basically wouldn't take him on due to his dementia and inability to lie still under a local anaesthetic. A friend had been to a private eye surgeon whom I contacted, and he did both last week under GA.
Shame on your NHS consultants. My husband's NHS consultant wouldn't do my husband's cataracts with local anaesthetic but did them under GA. We didn't need to go private.
 

cuppatea

Registered User
Oct 28, 2016
417
South Wales
Thanks @jenniferjean. Glad you got better service. Just thankful to get it done tbh. I think the list is at least 18 months here and he did them both at the same time so I don't have to go through that again. Dementia is definitely gets second class service...
 

Guzelle

Registered User
Aug 27, 2016
418
Sheffield
My husband had NHS hearing aids but never found them good enough we went to hidden hearing and they have been much better. He had his second pair last year as the older ones couldn’t be adjusted anymore. He is in a care home now and does sometimes misplace them but touch wood they have always been found. He can’t hear much without them. Hidden hearing come to the care home to check his hearing. I check his batteries and wax traps and domes myself.
 

Mudgee Joy

Registered User
Dec 26, 2017
665
New South Wales Australia
Just had to add a note about hearing aids. My husband bought some quite expensive hearing aids just before he was diagnosed as having dementia. he could not manage the batteries or the cleaning of the wax etc I went with him for a check up and the audiologist checked his hearing again . He told me my husband was profoundly deaf !!
I said “no way / stand behind a door and ask him if he would like an ice cream !!”
He could hear what he wanted. I told the doctor that norm had dementia and needed a test that allowed for slow reactions - he said he didn’t have a test that allowed for dementia.
no refund was possible - it had been 6 months . Now we just leave them in a drawer. If I need him to hear me I must face him and speak clearly. We get by quite well !!
Best wishes to you all!
 

DesperateofDevon

Registered User
Jul 7, 2019
2,658
I live in hope that hearing aids will help - otherwise it’s another tick in the dementia box.
reality check

Honestly I think it’s a tick in the dementia box .......