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How much does hearing matter?

Discussion in 'ARCHIVE FORUM: Support discussions' started by Tender Face, May 29, 2006.

  1. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Am I wrong in thinking that of all appointments mum has to attend the audiology ones have least significance?

    (Mum has regular check-ups with gastro-enterologist/urologist/chest consultant etc etc – all of which I cannot dispute are essential to ensure her best physical welfare).

    I am getting a touch ‘miffed’ that audiology seem to be making such a fuss about whether she has her telly turned up too much or not.

    We are having the second home visit tomorrow (in a week) because Audiologist (1) who attended last week seemed to think mum needed SENIOR audiologist to visit. (Same SENIOR audiologist who practically abandoned the consultation when I took mum to hospital to see her some weeks back acknowledging mum was not capable of ‘taking in’ what was being said).

    Audiologist (1) turned up with 24 hours notice last week (so I couldn’t get time off work to be there) fitted mum’s aids last Monday , telly was ‘down’…mum was almost ‘euphoric’. Tuesday – arrive lunchtime – telly is blaring, aids are abandoned, mum doesn’t know how to use the ‘switch’ on the aids …. quite distressed.

    Given mum has managed to express herself in consultations that she never goes out on her own (always with me or a trusted friend who can act as ‘interpreter’/memory), deals with telephone calls by passing on my number to callers she does not recognise…. how important IS her hearing impairment?

    I know I am lucky that mum is still at the stage she can use the TV as ‘company’ – on the good days when she can remember how to switch it on. Why put her through the distress of having yet another ‘machine’ (how she sees it) to deal with – if she can manage the volume control on the TV what harm is it really doing?????

    How do I get through to these people that even when mum could hear a conversation it is probably lost within minutes/hours? Why not allow her the freedom to turn up the telly and relieve her of the stress of two ‘fiddly’ contraptions she really does not wish for?

    Am I wrong? Have I missed something?
  2. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    #2 Margarita, May 29, 2006
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
    No you’re quite right, do they know your mother has dementia? Or should I say does the Audiologist know?

    As long as your mother happy that the main thing, get Sicatic (sp) ,but polite with them & tell them do they not understand what is happening with the brain of a person with dementia ? remember what you said when you told us this ,so tell them

    Good Luck tell us how you got on
  3. Amy

    Amy Registered User

    Jan 4, 2006
    Hiya TF,
    My perception is that many people without dementia cannot stand hearing aids because they magnify all sounds, so end up switching them off. Why should your mum be better able to cope with them. Let her turn the tele up - at least it is something that she still has control over - power to the people!!
    Love Amy
  4. Helena

    Helena Registered User

    May 24, 2006
    If she is like my Mother she wont even be able to make sense of the remote control

    She has just spent 3 days trying to defrost the fridge setting it at 6 instead of 0

    then insisted all the food all over the kitchen was still OK to eat

    Well maybe food poisoning would solve the whole problem
  5. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    Agree with 1st theory, as my Mum has virtually said as much several times. In fact she wore her hearing aid in the WRONG EAR for months, until I took her to the audiology clinic to get it refitted. Boy, was my face red! :eek:
    However, re. the TV volume (which with all modern sets requires the use of a remote control - "yet another machine ...") she cannot coordinate A) finding & pressing the right button PLUS B) being able to focus on the volume indicator bar at the bottom of the screen.
    And there are (good) neighbours to consider ...
    Loud 'background' music on programmes, canned laughter and blaring adverts are all a trial and cause of complaint.
  6. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Quite, Margarita - they only know if some non-medic (like the carer) tells 'them' (sorry - I don't mean to have an anti-NHS rant - for the most part the NHS have been FANTASTIC with mum - and dad previously not to mention..... won't go there....)

    What frustrates me is that we attend local hospital appointments where various consultants have access to mum's 'generic' record between the consultants based at that hospital. When we visit the vascular specialist (at a different hospital), or the psycho-geriatrician (who is 'community-based), or the Audiologists (who operate from a hospital base but on an 'Outreach' service) there appears to be no defined communication between all these professionals unless I provide it..... (at appropriate moments when I feel I can say something to them without upsetting mum)....

    GP has confirmed he has now secured a referral to Physiotherapy for mum's 'terrible' back pain suffered some weeks ago - only now mum can't remember having the pain.... X-rays and scans have proven no 'trauma' but she is going along with the therapy 'because it has been offered' - and mum would never refuse anything offered 'for free'. (Paid plenty into private health insurance previously - perhaps that's her rationale???)

    I don't mean to be cynical - I love her to bits and of course want the best for her - but this physio - like I feel the audiology service - is quite frankly a waste of NHS resources. What is motivating these 'medics'?????

    I feel torn between wanting the best for mum but recognising when money could be better spent elsewhere and feel she/we are somehow 'frauds' - totally embarrassed by 'NICE'.... when mum's day-to-day problems seem comparatively insignificant to many here.....:eek:

    Nor of course, is it my place to deny her any medical help of any sort - just I wish I could get the focus on the PRIMARY cause for concern instead of pussy-footying around having people 'home-visit' unnecessarily at what cost to the NHS and other more needy patients?

    Karen, x (Rant over!!!!)
  7. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006
    Hi TF

    The audiologists do not understand that with AD it is not audibility that is the problem it is understanding what they hear. I believe that what entertains Mary is the colour and movement on the TV which holds her attention since what she hears and what she sees has on correlation.

    If mum is happy - what the hell, sometimes we know more than the experts, go with your instincts. The worst you can do is make as many misgudgements as the experts.


  8. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    You mean I should have left that ham sandwich found in the biscuit tin to go EVEN greener????:D

    Thanks, Helena! Recognised so much in that - arranged for mum's freezer to be removed as we can't 'trust' her not to defrost and refreeze stuff anymore..... (probably half-eaten :eek: )......
  9. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Dick, When I get the hang of this techno stuff, :eek: please may I 'borrow' that as my signature?

    That HAS to be our philosophy - whether mum, dad, partner, non?

    Thanks everyone thus far - I won't take it out personally on the SENIOR Audiologist (promise!) but I think I need to make a point tomorrow about anxiety versus benefits.......

    ..... and if mum is happy with her telly blaring (no neighbours to consider!) I's gonna buy her the biggest speakers you ever can get....!!!!!!:D

    Hugs all, x
  10. DickG

    DickG Registered User

    Feb 26, 2006

    Be my guest. Happiness is the only thing worth persuing.

  11. Kayla

    Kayla Registered User

    May 14, 2006
    My Mum had a hearing aid fitted which was great while she was able to deal with it herself and buy the batteries at the Age Concern Day Centre. Once she started having problems, she couldn't fit or control the device herself and I've tried to fit it for her and I really can't see how it is supposed to go in or even whether I'm putting it in the right ear.
    Mum mishears or misunderstands lots of things, but if she really wants to hear something she can. I think it might depend on how focussed she is at the time. The Nursing Home don't seem to bother with the hearing aid and I think it might hurt her if someone tried to put it in because her rheumatoid arthritis is very painful.
    The NHS don't always seem to treat the whole patient. Each part of the body has a different specialist. It would be more sensible if a general consultant assessed an elderly person with dementia and then referred them on if necessary.
    Acute wards in hospitals are very unsuitable for the elderly. There should be smaller, more personal, friendly units where patients are actually referred to by name, instead of " the person in bed six."
    From being a little vague and having some hallucinations, which could be controlled by a low dose of Haliperidol, Mum turned into a zombie after nearly four weeks in hospital. She had broken her hip and is now in a nursing home unable to walk. Fortunately she can now hold a lucid conversation but I have to work out exactly which year she is in and respond appropriately!
    It would also help if the NHS realised that relatives have other commitments such as work and were more flexible in arranging appointments and visiting times.
  12. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    NW England
    Thanks for this, Kayla. Mum too, had a hearing aid many years before 'memory problems' set in - and wasn't best pleased with it then...... (see your point Amy) I was happy to persevere at that stage - I just feel other things have kinda 'over-taken' since... perhaps if she had accepted it then....?

    But what point right now trying to make her look out for her hearing when I am more concerned whether she locks the door at night or doesn't dare try to put the cooker on????

    You're absolutely right about appointments - I get to be at mum's tomorrow for a home visit which I am promised will be 'anytime between 9am and 1pm'... means a full day off work for me... and if it ends up a 'no show' as it was last time it was planned I will be REALLY CROSS!!!!!!

    I'm lucky, work are very understanding but there's only so much leave we can take.... did someone mention taking leave for H-O-L-I-D-A-Y-S?????:confused:
    Love, Karen, x
  13. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades

    I am sure that this is correct.
    I do wonder how the audiologists can arrive at a correct hearing need.
    I found the tests quite difficult to decide what pips and noises I could hear ,well or badly
    It must be bewildering to an AD sufferer.
    I don't have problems with Peg and TV, she does not watch it!!
    I am sure that she does not understand it anyway.
  14. Kriss

    Kriss Registered User

    May 20, 2004
    Hi TF

    we didn't have a problem with hearing but I can sympathise having gone through what now appears to have been totally wasted trauma of Aunt having had all her teeth removed and a complete set of dentures made. Note I said "made" not fitted!

    OK so the x-rays showed abcesses and I can understand that the teeth needed to be removed though to this day cannot understand why she was not in absolute agony if she had a mouthful of them as we were told?

    But then we went through a period of nearly 4 months waiting for the mouth to heal sufficiently to take impressions. However during this period I can only recall the dentist attending her care home twice both times after I had pressed the staff. I still have reservations about whether it was her mouth that was not ready or whether the dentist had other priorities?

    Of course when they did decide to do a fitting Aunt was then past the stage of understanding/wanting the procedure and they never did manage to complete the upper impressions. She always appreciated the attention that an appointment would bring but not being able to process instructions made the whole episode impossible.

    Now 18 months on she has no teeth and I guess we have gotten used to her appearance and the loss of her teeth made not a jot of a difference to her ability to eat.

    We were always questioning ourselves as to whether we pushed too hard or not hard enough to make things happen but looking back I think Aunt eventually made her own decision in her own way.

    I would say don't let your Mum be put through something she does not want or possibly need - the less aggro she has to deal with then the better it will be for all. If you can't discuss it in front of her then I would write to the audilogist (copied to the other care team members) asking for their reasons if they feel they should be continuing with the current treatment.

    Make the most of the TV volume control while you can! Power to the people!!!

  15. Michael E

    Michael E Registered User

    Apr 14, 2005
    Ronda Spain
    Strange thing is I am the one with the dodgy hearing - too much scuba diving and coral infections.... Monique has excellent hearing - When we are in the breakfast room she hears telephone bells and door bells that I do not.. She also complains I want the TV too loud!!!

    So as a 'audio impaired person' or a bit deaf, let me say it really worries me not a jot! sure sometimes I have to ask people to repeat something, sometimes I put the telephone to the 'worse' ear and miss a bit of verbiage but frankly it is no major problem and the idea of wearing a hearing aid(s) does not appeal - still trying to be 18!!!

    So maybe its the same with our 'audio impaired deaf AD partners? Really not worth putting them through the 'confusion and worry' of sticking things in their ears... In reality there is little said thats important that will not be repeated if required.. Maybe extra loud telephone and door bells?

  16. PatH

    PatH Registered User

    Feb 14, 2005
    I feel there is a time when these are no longer suitable for AD patients as we all know its not so much the hearing but the understanding of words.
    My husband did have false teeth but they became a big problem!! We had to remove them because he was always taking them out and leaving them about the ward.
    There was a female patient who took a shine to them and carried them about in her handbag!! Not surprised really he had a lovely smile --:D he has even a better one now without them :) but at least there not a nuisance to him anymore!
  17. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
    With a person with AD some where in the brain is a nerve that control the balance as after a while, that part starts to go (die) that why like my mum can not control her balance when walking in the street alone. mum dementia nurse told me this a long while back

    So am wondering balance has something to with hearing - the ear, I think that must affect the hearing, 'audio impaired person' Worse then a person with AD who is not 'audio impaired
  18. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    Birmingham Hades

    I do not think so. In MHO
    My wife has awful gait and balance problems,but her hearing is perfect,too perfect some times!!
    Like Micheal I am the the one with impaired hearing,Peg hears sounds that I miss.
  19. Margarita

    Margarita Registered User

    Feb 17, 2006
  20. Canadian Joanne

    Canadian Joanne Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 8, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    #20 Canadian Joanne, May 30, 2006
    Last edited: May 30, 2006
    I agree. We all have to learn to let some things go. Pity some medical people can't learn this.

    And as you say, if your mother is happy with the TV blaring & there aren't any neighbours to complain, too bad if the audiologist doesn't like it.


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