Noise is Not My Friend!
Noise is such an issue for me. As a person with Alzheimer's I find I have a very difficult time filtering noise. I carry earplugs with me all the time. I never know when I am going to need them.
Noise affects my anxiety
Crowded rooms make me anxious and it isn't because there are so many people it is because there is too much noise. I have to have someone with me, standing right next to me and I usually have to have my hand on them. It is like a lifeline.
We can only go to quiet restaurants and we go at times when we think the noise will be at a minimum. I find it is better for me to sit at the end of a rectangular table so I don't have people sitting on each side of me talking. It is not uncommon for me to ask for the music or the televisions to be turned down when I am in a restaurant.
Filtering noise with Alzheimer's
I can't focus on all the noise. I can't concentrate and I certainly can't carry on a conversation with all the noise. And, although others might not think it is a lot of noise it is to me. So, I miss out on a lot of occasions where I don't think I can handle the noise such as parties, large gatherings, and social events.
Noise at home
My husband likes to have the television on all the time for noise. I can't stay in the same room most of the time with him because it is too loud. So we compromise. He wears earphones so I don't have to listen. It is rare for me to watch a lot of television because I have a hard time following the story so it works out for us.
He also likes to have the stereo on full volume which I cannot handle at all. He says if I was to go to a concert it would be louder, but I find that if I am watching something live, it doesn't affect me as much because I am watching it and can anticipate the noise more so than when just listening.
In other situations
I also have a difficult time riding in a car with the radio on. I compromise by taking my earplugs and using them if I can't control the radio myself.
Movies are pretty much out of the question for me for several reasons. One is that I can't follow the storyline and the volume is extremely loud for me.
What is interesting is that I enjoy going to basketball games at our university in town. However, when I go, I sit in the same seat and with the same people around me. It is a familiar setting to me and I feel comfortable.
If my seat gets changed for any reason the outcome is not so good. I get very anxious. I will have a panic attack. I become fearful. Things don't seem "right" to me.
Filtering the noise
I hope when you are dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer's disease you think about the noise level. It may not be loud for you, but it might be for them. If you are in a large room with multiple conversations it might be hard for them to filter the noise.
Just be mindful of your surroundings so everyone can feel comfortable. Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or share your story with the community.
Do you have any caregiving tips that could help the community?