Coping with caring for an elderly mother
Mum has hearing aids. She is very happy with them. Her last test before paying for them provided results of 50% hearing when she was turned away from the specialist and 75% hearing when facing him and able to watch his lips. So she says.
He must have been YELLING for mum to have achieved those results. No way, absolutely no way does she have that level of hearing. Even though she only wears one hearing aid. Yes just the one. She can hear better she said with just one hearing aid! Whatcha say? Oh dear, is it wine o’clock yet?
Her hearing has been noticeably worse over the past few months and I have encouraged, reasoned, pleaded, asked her to wear both because she can’t hear. She answers with “if people would just look at me when they talk to me I can hear them.” to “I can hear fine – it’s when people start mumbling I can’t hear.”
Her hearing got worse very quickly and although it seems to have stabilised now, holding a conversation is very difficult. I say something. Mum replies, whatcha say? I didn’t hear you” and me repeating it. This goes on all the time. I feel sorry for the people that she plays cards with each week, but then again, many of them are hard of hearing. If mum doesn’t hear everything someone says she will simply fill in her own blanks or she has a way of pretending that she has heard. Oh, hmmmm she will nod!!!
So let’s give some examples you may identify or one day you too might face a similar situation. So here are some daily examples of daily chats with mum. The tips, oh where are the tips for Coping with caring for an elderly mother. Or read as – virtually deaf elderly mother! Especially when you only wear one ruddy hearing aid.
Is it wine o’clock yet?
Mum is in the back seat of the car and we are taking mum for a drive out for lunch. Hubby and I chat in the front. Mum just starts a long conversation on top of our chat. OR, she hears some chatting noise, and then makes statements on a completely different topic to what we are talking about. Mum asks me questions, I turn my body and head towards the back and yell the answers back to her. Mum repeats my answers. Except what she repeats is nothing like what I have said. Hubby wonders if it is wine o’clock yet. FARK! I often think. Other times, I just giggle – oh dear! I do hope I don’t go deaf.
“Where are we going?” mum asks. “We are going to the Marina Market’s first, then for lunch”, I reply. “Oh, where did you have brunch? Mum asks – “why did you have brunch first, you won’t be hungry for your lunch”. Smile!!!
Why are we going this way, mum asks noticing we are going a different direction. I have to drop something off to Dave, I reply? Who? Who let off? Says mum? I can’t smell anything? Did you let off? Hmmmmm, is it wine o’clock yet?
I don’t like that table, it’s too cold, too breezy, too loud, too sunny”. We usually end up at the 3rd or 4th table that we sit at. Yes, move the glasses of water etc each time. Waitress comes over to ask our orders. Would you like to order your drinks? Whatch she say? SHE SAID ARE WE READY TO ORDER out drinks! “, I want some fresh oysters”, mum replies. I’ll have a wine I say to hubby! I’m not hungry says mum, what are you going to eat, when can share it. Do they have any lamb’s brains? I’m not eating lamb’s brains I say. Why not they are good for you. Hmmm I wonder, maybe they might help with my hearing.
Mum rings. You have my disabled sticker. No I don’t, I reply. Yes, you have it. The last time I saw it, was in your car. Go and have a look it must have fallen down the side of the car door. OK, I will go and look. No mum I don’t have your disabled sticker. Yes, she replies, you do. I used it last when I was with you on Sunday (it is now Friday). No, you have been out with my brother since then. No we couldn’t find it. You have it. I will look for it tomorrow when I come around, I reply. Hey? Whatcha say? I WILL LOOK FOR IT TOMORROW WHEN I COME AROUND. You found it in a round thing? NO MUM!! I WILL SEE YOU TOMORROW. BYE FOR NOW. Is it wine o’clock yet? And the next day, I find the disabled sticker, just like I do, every time mum says that I definitely have it. Usually caught up between her calendar or between loose paper on her breakfast bench.
Phone rings, or I walk into mum’s unit. Mum is crying. The cleaners (or somebody!!) have stolen….my disabled sticker – yep, that disabled sticker again, money, her pastel art work she was going to have framed, a top, etc etc. No mum, they wouldn’t steal anything. Oh yes they would. They get in her and talk and don’t clean very well. Tears, they have stolen….item…..! Mum, calm down, remember every time you think something is stolen, I find it. So calm down. Whatcha say? IT’S OK MUM. SIT DOWN AND I WILL HAVE A LOOK! But I didn’t lose a book.. I told you the cleaners have taken (insert item here) ….!!! Hmmmmm. Is it wine o’clock yet?
I’m going out with a friend and I have no money. Why mum? We took $400 out yesterday. Well you must have kept it. You have it. I can’t find the money. Why did you keep it. I didn’t keep it mum. I put in in the drawer with your cheque book. Whatcha say? You coming her to look for it? Why, you have it. Bring it back. No mum, I don’t have it. Move your cheque book, it will be under that. Sick? Are you sick? Why are you sick? NO MUM I’M NOT SICK. What? Oh can you bring the money back! Lorna is coming to get me to take me out in a few hours. Hmmmmm Is it wine o’clock yet?
So mum talks over us, on top of our conversation. Interrupts and starts her own conversation. Takes a conversation on a completely different area to topic that we are discussing. Sometimes, it is very funny. Other tines completely frustrating.
I feel so sorry for mum. She misses out on so much of what is been talked about and happening. I hope that I never go deaf, or have such hard of hearing issues.
Love mum. Is it wine o’clock yet?