Have you ever encountered elderly people who spend most of their conversation time talking over you, interrupting you, and injuring your own eardrums because they insist on hollering at you even though sitting quite close by? Most often, these are the people whose hearing is very poor, but who refuse to admit a failing of any kind, and therefore who do pretty much everything at ear splitting volumes. They also are the folk who seem to yell at you in an accusatory tone that they cannot hear you, and continue to yell at you until you raise your voice to where they can hear you, and then you are hollering at one another, to everyone else’s pleasure. It’s frustrating, isn’t it?
Well, the offshoot of that situation, for live-in caregivers, is that we must learn to like (or at least tolerate) our care recipient’s choice of radio and television programs, or, if you are lucky, you will learn to block out that gnawing noise from downstairs or drown it out with your own noise. Unfortunately for me, competing noises are a source of tension, aggravation, and complete crazy making … and I have the pleasure of working from my home office, from which I can hear it all, even when I try desperately to not hear any of it. While we’ve discussed the idea of hiring someone to install sound deadening materials between the upstairs and downstairs, we know that the process would be terribly disruptive to all concerned, and we’ve come to realize the one benefit to our care recipient’s absolute refusal to admit to her greatly diminished hearing and therefore to do something about it. That benefit is that we can make as much noise as is humanly possible upstairs, and never have to be concerned about disturbing our care recipient downstairs.
Yours in caregiving,