When I got back from a recent trip, Mom was doing OK, but struggling even more with her hearing. When my sister and her husband came a couple weekends ago, we went to Olive Garden and Mom just sat there, stone silent, staring at her soup. She had been grouchy to my sister earlier, and didn't act interested in engaging at all. Finally, after talking to her afterward, we determined that that she was just totally out of touch due to advancing hearing loss.
We all agreed she really needed to get hearing aids, even though she insisted that she will die soon and 'don't waste the money'. All us kids, though, told her that this is exactly why she saved her money all these years, and that we wanted her to have the aids.
She got them! Though, yikes, they were expensive! $5400! (Starkey Wi series). And for a depression-era-person, that was hard. She still complains that her hearing is not perfect, that the hearing aids are tinny (they are; the ENT folks said her brain will grow accustomed to the new sound). We got the high-end ones so she didn't have to fuss or adjust them. Supposedly plug-and-play.
Still, her negativity continues to play out. Complaining about the tinniness of the TV, complaining that she "can't hear anything better" - then in the next moment she comments about how she can now hear this or that noise. Complaining about the difficulty of inserting them, about keeping them in when she takes on/off her oxygen tubing. Then I come in with my Little Miss Positive, pointing out the plus-side, and she reluctantly admits a few benefits.
We go back tomorrow for an adjustment and check. Maybe we'll keep them, or, maybe we'll find a better model. We'll see.