Hi. My mom (76 yo) suffers from dementia, almost advanced stage, she's totally dependent for everything. She lives with my father (almost 79), who is mentally and physically ok. They live in the same building with my two brothers. I visit them on the weekends, and very often on weekdays, especially when I have days off work. We also have a female caregiver from 8 a.m. to 3 pm.

Mom is luckily very calm, and I really like being around her. Plus, I do everything when there, but my father is driving me crazy with his loud TV, watching the news and political talk shows, almost 24th. Whenever I ask him to lower the volume, or go and watch TV in his room instead, he gets defensive. I also asked him twice, in the lady's presence, letting him know that he has to be considerate of others (expect me) too. He just got defensive, as usual. We have also told him to go out for some fresh air, when the lady is around, but he won't listen.

Is there anything I can do?

MY DH traveled extensively for YEARS and his 'normal dynamic' is to walk into the hotel room and immediately turn on the TV to FOX and it HAS to be on the entire stay. When he travels, he sleeps with the TV blaring. If I'm with him it's obviously PAINFUL that I will not let him put the TV on unless we are BOTH on board with watching it.

We actually slept in separate bedrooms for the last 8 years b/c he refused to not have a TV in the bedroom. I couldn't sleep with it on! He chose an APPLIANCE over me. That hurt!

No compromise whatsoever. I moved out and he didn't care.

In our "NEW" home he was scouting out where the master bedroom TV should go. I put my foot down and said "You can have the biggest TV in the world, but you cannot put it in the bedroom". I stood my ground and he put an enormous TV in the kitchen/gathering room. I bought him a gorgeous recliner and he sits in that with BLUE TOOTH headphones on and I don't have to hear the stupid debates.

He likes to golf (too snowy right now) and he 'thinks' now he's retiring that he's going to take up woodworking, but I don't see how or why. He has no friends, just work colleagues, but he is close to our Sons in Law.

He told me the other day that his retirement means that I'm retiring. I couldn't hold back the laughter, Having him home is easily twice the work of when I'm alone.

Get your hubby some quality blue tooth headphones. DH wears them and listens to podcasts and music. He has very poor hearing and refuses to wear his $6K hearing aids. I have given up that battle.

Some battles are not worth the fight. He misses a LOT in life due to the hearing issues and the obsession with right wing politics.

I go downstairs to my craft room and leave him be.

Our 'Golden Years' are nothing like I'd thought they'd be.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Midkid58
againx100 Jan 16, 2023
I'm sorry your golden years aren't what you'd expected.
However “ok” you think your father is cognitively, he probably is feeling uncomfortable and out of place and “shifted around” while your mom is being cared for.

If you are able to overlook his “defensiveness”, it’s time to do that.

TELL HIM, as unemotionally as you can, that unless he wears a blue tooth setup or other type of comfortable television sound amplifier when he’s asked to, you won’t visit. He can get defensive, he can throw a tantrum, he can do what he pleases, but you are making a reasonable request, and you ARE entitled to reasonable compliance.

Then the ball is in your court to follow through.

Being defensive is bearable. Loud ceaseless noise is NOT.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to AnnReid

Hearing issues lead to dementia. If the brain can't get information from the ears, certain pathways begin to atrophy. Then the brain won't work right. So for all of you dealing with people who refuse hearing aids, maybe you should explain this to them IN A REALLY LOUD VOICE. This is an ultra simplified explanation, but it's a known thing. If they can't hear, eventually they may be drooling, repeating things over and over, and incontinent. In your living room.

Modern hearing aids are nothing like previous kinds. They're so inconspicuous that no one even knows someone is wearing them. What is conspicuous is if an elder keeps saying, "Whassat? Who? I can't hear you! Huh?" At some point, people don't try to communicate with a hard-of-hearing elder anymore. That social isolation contributes to various maladies that no one wants.

Sad. Huh? What? Who? SAD.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Fawnby
mommynightmare Jan 16, 2023
Funny Story .. Sad ... & so True
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We solved the problem with the loud tv by getting speakers that sit on the back of my mom’s chair. The sound can be adjusted. Made a huge difference.
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to nerees

Until you can find a more permanent solution to the blasting noises, I recommend you protect your own hearing. Use earplugs.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to polarbear
Bler11 Jan 6, 2023
Yeah, but l detest earplugs - l find them vexing & harmful.
I don't think there IS anything you can 'do' about your dad listening to TV news at a loud volume in his own home, especially since it's not bothering your mother (thank God). She's probably gotten used to the blasting volume after all this time, so it's like background noise to her. My mother had dementia and was pretty deaf (refused hearing aids, of course) and when I'd speak to her on the phone or go see her in Memory Care, the TV was SO LOUD that it was unbearable for me. I'd ask her to please turn it down, but if it was on the phone, she would use the PHONE to try to turn the TV volume down and wind up hanging up on me. True story. If I went to see her and the TV was blasting, I'd turn the damn thing down MYSELF. Which you may want to try with your father to see what happens. If he flips out, well, then don't do it again I guess :( All you can do is ask him politely, try turning it down yourself, and then resort to wearing earplugs to deal with the sonic boom coming from the set. I feel your pain, I really do. I wish I had some magic words to offer you that would resolve the matter, but I don't.

I wonder if dad himself is suffering some cognitive impairment in addition to hearing issues? Listening to NEWS all day long would drive anyone to a state of insanity, I think, so I would suggest to dad he watch a nice movie or something!

Don't try to change dad, is the best advice you can probably get. It's like beating your head against a brick'll be the one to wind up with the headache, not dad.

Best of luck.
Helpful Answer (6)
Reply to lealonnie1

We got my dad headphones from Sony that connect to the TV. It’s a game changer! Order on Amazon:)
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to Robino101

A "Wireless Speaker for TV" that I ordered on Amazon worked wonders for my mother. By setting the easy, small, radio-like device on the table right next to her recliner, she could hear the tv fine, and the whole house didn't have to be blaring with the volume. She used this in her 90's, with no problem as it was very simple with only one dial to turn it up or down.
Helpful Answer (5)
Reply to EmilySue

Both my parents were hard of hearing (Mom much later in years) and the TV volume can be maddening. The solution for us was wireless headphones, simple to set up and a Godsend.
Helpful Answer (4)
Reply to NYCmama

Get him blue tooth tv head phones and then he can listen to whatever he wants to.
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Reply to Janineb110

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