Hearing Loss is more than not hearing

The quality of moms life changed with this approval

We started planning mom’s 80th birthday party a year in advance because we all wanted to be able to make it for this milestone event.  We are all so spread out across the country so we knew this was going to need some serious coordinating.

The five of us talked back and forth until we decided on the exact date  and then we had to be sure we could all get the time off  from work.  

“Deb, did you hear what I said”?

“Well I’m outside now talking to you because Mom got her hearing aids and I can’t talk in front of her anymore.  so, no I didn’t what did you say? ” 

“We booked our flight”!

“I can’t believe this is all coming together and she suspects nothing!”

Mom had her new hearing aids for her 80th birthday birthday party and it was fantastic. The 5 of us and most of our families were together for our three day party.

Mom loved it.  She was so happy.  When she is around her family she is always so happy.  I was so happy that she was able to have the hearing aids before her party.

moms 80th
So much fun! Look at Mom 🙂

 

 

Acquiring hearing aids for mom was a costly event the first time around – they were over $6000.00.   

The bigger battle, however,  was convincing her that she needed them. Then convincing her to wear them.  Have I mentioned she can be a little on the stubborn side.

“Mom, do you want a chicken for dinner?”

“What?”

“Do you want chicken?”

“I didn’t understand you,stop mumbling”

A little louder

“DO YOU WANT CHICKEN FOR DINNER?”

“ sure, how are you thinking you will  cook it?”

This was how most of our conversations were going for a long time.  We got that card in the mail that most people get that says something about hearing loss and a free exam and blah blah blah.  I’ve always pretty much ignored those ads.  

I started reading about hearing loss and how normal it was for people in their 70’s to lose their hearing.  I came across a few articles talking about hearing loss and cognitive function. Read that article ,  because after I did, I called and made her initial appointment for the free hearing exam.

She did not want to go for the exam and she did not want to have hearing aids and she certainly did not want to pay for them.  I can be pretty persuasive with mom, and I felt I needed to be.  The fear of her losing her cognitive abilities was a big deal.  She had already started with repeating herself and forgetting  things, and of course we attributed that to “old age”.

Long story short, she got her hearing aids, and wore them.  For a few years it was  great, she participated more in conversations and seemed to be back to herself.  (even though I didn’t realize there was a problem  with her not being her normal self until after she got the hearing aids. I think she was slightly depressed)  She was in her late 70’s when this all took place.  Hearing aids need adjustments to keep up with the continued loss of hearing and after a while (4 years for mom) they can no longer be adjusted and you will need new hearing aids.

 Uuuggghhhh

For some awful reason which I cannot fathom, most  insurance companies do not cover hearing aids.   With all of the evidence about the quality of life this is completely unfair.  We did not have another $8000.00 (cost increased of course) .

She went without.

It was awful and I mean it, her hearing was worse than ever and she had lost one of the “not working so good” hearing aids so now she had only one and  that barely helped.  

—————————————————————–

I had been trying to get moms insurance changed because I began to realize just how bad her insurance was.  This process of changing her insurance and trying to find someone to help was PAINSTAKINGLY LONG AND TEDIOUS.  

Elder Services was moms saving grace. Mine too.  I’ll tell you,  once you find the right people to help, life gets so much better.  Still took a long time but they told me what I needed for documentation and how to get it to the right people and what was going to happen.  Mom needed to be approved for the program Navi Care   afer she went through the Mass Health approval process.  To be approved for Navi Care insurance she basically had to prove that she had no assets, no hidden money, property  or stocks, etc.  She had to prove she was poor.  She doesn’t know she is considered financially  poor and I would never tell her.  She was approved, of course.  

The quality of moms life changed with this approval.  We had caseworkers and nurses calling to check on mom  and they came to the house and got her a walker, a bench for the tub,  physical therapy and any thing she could possibly need.   They sat with us to see what her needs were and then they made sure these needs were met.  

This is how we could afford her daycare and her new hearing aids!

Not top of the line hearing aids but they worked.  They even sent her home with batteries and wax guards.   I was so grateful, it made a world of difference her moms daily life.

I know when it is time to change the batteries, or when she isn’t wearing them.

“Mom, would you like a cup of tea with me?”

“What did you say about me having to pee?”

“Do you have your hearing aids in?”

She reaches up to touch her ear

“Oh I guess not?”

Or

“Do you have your hearing aids in?”

She reaches up to touch her ear

“Yes”

That is how I know it is time to change the battery.  Or when she isn’t laughing at Bob and I while we banter back and forth, because we are funny,  and she is usually amused. So when she isn’t laughing it is time to change her batteries

Sadly mom has lost a hearing aid, the right ear,  twice now, and they only replace it once, so she only has the one hearing aid now. her left.  It is still good though and she does hear much better with that one than without any,  but occasionally she will misunderstand what is said.  

Recently, I had a few friends over for an afternoon “tea”  (wine) and mom often times joins us for a while.  

 

This particular visit we were all sitting around the table snacking and talking about our new year’s resolution  diets, as we do every year. You too, right?

“On fridays we all meet at the gym and get weighed and workout together”

Carrie explained

“You get laid at the gym?”

We all burst out laughing and I knew she needed new batteries then for sure!

img_1617

Mom may be considered financially poor but I hope she feels the riches in her life.

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