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Hearing test - where to start


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My OH (in early stages of Alzy) is becoming increasingly deaf.

It has reached the stage where he only half hears what I say; he then puts his own 'spin' on what I've said, gets things totally wrong, and he insists that I'm 'always criticising' or 'always swearing' at him - none of which I have done.    (I know it's just paranoia from his Alzy but it's psychologically causing me huge distress).

He's at the stage where he just seems to want to provoke arguments, and when I try to laugh off his comments, or explain that he's misunderstood what I've said,  I'm at the receiving end of a lot of abuse, aggression, and sulking.

We should be enjoying life and our freedom;  it's become a miserable existence for me... not sure where to turn.

I know that if he could hear clearly we would have fewer rows;  the only trouble is he won't admit that his hearing is as bad as it is.  He accuses me of either 'mumbling' at him, or 'shouting' - well of course I'm b---y shouting because I'm having to repeat myself for the third or fourth time.

I'm beginning to feel I can't cope much longer, and want to take the next flight out of the nearest airport.  

I want him to have a hearing test;  he won't admit he needs one.

A friend suggested I make an appointment with our doctor, explain to Doctor the problem's OH is having with loss of hearing.   I then ask our Doctor to write to OH requesting him just to come in for a check-up and chat following his recent 'all-clear' for bowel cancer, and for Doctor to assess OH's hearing loss at the same time.

Would our Doctor do this for me ?    It's subterfuge but if our Doctor suggests OH would be wise to have a hearing test, OH might take on board Doctor's suggestion/instruction.

He won't take my advice;  and I'm feeling so depressed and unhappy at all the continual rows we are having.   I just can't take much more.

Just a bit down and sorry for myself at the moment;  but constructive advice would be so much appreciated.


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Oh gosh Chrissie my heart goes out to you .. your life sounds very fraught at the moment.

Alzheimer's aside I went through a quite frustrating period a few years ago as OH's hearing suddenly deteriorated quite extensively and, like you, found myself repeating things endlessly or speaking very loudly to avoid having to repeat things and then being accused of shouting. I used to get cross inside and out and often went for a short walk to try and cool down. I am not patient.

Hearing aids help a lot .. but they don't always work as well as people expect them too.

In ear high tech aids are fiddly, need cleaning and sometimes cause problems in windy conditions .. even worse if you forget to take them out before having a bath or a shower.

BUT .. your idea of talking to the Doctor and getting him on your side is good, regardless of my words above.

In my view it would be sound to give it a go.

You need help too .. even if it's only someone to talk to.

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That sounds like a horrible situation to be in. Don't feel guilty at feeling down.

I am not sure about your situation. Have you already approached anybody for help with your husband's problem? It it sounds to me as if you should be getting some expert medical help and probably some social work help as well.

Although  I understand that you have the specific problem with his hearing, it seems to me that it is best dealt with in the context of all of the problem

Perhaps you could ask for a consultation for yourself with your GP (for stress) and raised the matter ?

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In terms of general "help" (i.e. much needed support) I'd strongly commend if you haven't done so already that you check out and consider joining the forums on the UK Alzheimer's association website. You'll at least be able to tap into a rich resource of people who have been there and done that, and who can provide you with support.

As regards the GP thing: who knows? Try it and see. Nobody knows your GP like you do, and if you think you've got a decent relationship and (s)he might be amenable, then give it a whirl. If the GP can't help directly by engaging in a spot of subterfuge, then maybe they'll have suggestions. In any case, sounds like you could do with a convo with the GP who might be able to help with your own wellbeing.

ETA: while I was posting, Norm and Sue got there first.

And Norman: I'm advocating the Alzheimer's UK website in this instance as opposed to the French (but both: why not?) because in Chessie's present position, being able to vent and get some help in English might be a simpler option. Of course, the French site will be of much more use for France-specific help on available resources.

ETA: oh, who knew? Just found this: https://www.alz.org/fr/dementia-alzheimers-france.asp
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Chessie, yes, speak to the doctor about it and try and get one done, however, even if hearing aids are being prescribed, then your OH may not wear them.

A friend of ours,   refuses to get a memory test done, even though their memory is terrible these days, and they need one.  And they are on their second set of hearing aids. (In fact we have been good friends with this couple for over 40 years, they are somewhat older than us) The first hearing aids didn't suit.... and then the second, costing a couple of thousand £'s, well they don't suit either.

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Chessie, in our region, sadly a little too far away from you, we have an organisation set up to work with families of those with Alz, [Alzheimer: un autre regard] which we have financially supported via my Rotary Club,  as well as I have a friend who used them (hubby now died of Alz) but they both found it helpful.  It was bi-lingual, they ran afternoons (games, music), so if you could find something locally, it may help.

As for seeing the doctor, you should see him for your own health worries, and as hubby's Alz and probably deafness are all part of that worry, you are perfectly at liberty to mention how his health is causing your health to suffer too.  If you say, if only he would have his hearing looked at, he might pick up on it ... or you could ask directly.  Any doctor worth his salt would be amenable I am sure.

Good luck.

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