When I visited Mom the other day she was asleep in a chair in the residence living room area. One hearing aid was in, the other was missing. The safety cord that connects the two (so they don't get separated) was broken where the missing aid would be, with scotch tape wrapped on the cord.
The hearing aid that was present was in the wrong ear.
Ugh - no wonder she was sleeping; she couldn't hear anything that would keep her awake!
I confirmed that the one hearing aid in her ear was working and placed it into the correct ear.
A caregiver retrieved the missing hearing aid from who knows where. I did not inspect it beyond testing for charge, and it was not responding, so I had the caregiver take the non-responsive hearing aid to the nurses station to place in the charging unit for later deployment.
After lunch I retrieved the non-responsive hearing aid from the nurses station and tied it to the broken cord as a temporary solution.
I noted then that it still was not charged.
I placed both hearing aids in the charging unit and the non-responsive unit was not charging. I then inspected it more closely and it was apparent that it was damaged.
Dang it... of course, being a memory care facility no one remembered how the hearing aid got damaged!
Regardless, hearing is vitally important to engagement, and engagement is vitally important to dementia and memory challenged patients.
This rang a tone for me (all pun intended) because the panel of experts in WorkCompCentral's webinar Tuesday, "We're Beating Back Opioids - Now What?", all agreed on a couple of very important points: 1) workers' compensation does things TO people (not WITH), and 2) this dramatically decreases the chances of positive outcomes.
For the most part, there is little in the decision making process that the injured worker actively participates in. The injured worker is told what to do, when to do it, how to do it, etc. If the injured worker is asked any questions it's usually about how he or she is feeling (unless it's an investigation or deposition, in which case the questions are a bit more serious).
Otherwise, the injured worker does not really participate in his or her medical treatment. There's a huge disconnect between what is trying to be accomplished, and how the path to that goal is navigated.
In other words, there is a lack of engagement.
Yet, engagement is so simple to accomplish - but it requires communication, which itself requires time and patience.
Time and patience - just like dealing with Mom. She can't hear. And when she can hear her brain jumbles up the message. It may take several repetitions for her to understand, and then she forgets it right away.
Time and patience - virtues that are in short supply, particularly in the claims world.