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Home visit for ear syringing?

(25 Posts)
mamaa Thu 03-Oct-19 10:09:37

Morning all, Just a query. My mum has quite advanced dementia and has suddenly become very hard of hearing. We’re not sure if it’s her hearing or lack of comprehension tbh. Getting her to the walk in centre across town is not possible and they don’t do it at the surgery anymore. Any helpful solutions out there? I’m taking her to the Drs shortly for her flu jab and will ask again, but the stock answer is go to the walk-in!
TIA

annsixty Thu 03-Oct-19 10:28:15

Will the district nursing service carry out the syringing?
It is worth asking.

annsixty Thu 03-Oct-19 10:29:28

Or ring the Alzheimer's Society and ask their advice.

humptydumpty Thu 03-Oct-19 10:45:22

Good luck with the district nurse - I asked if one could help my (demented) mother put in eye drops as none of us live nearby - no!

SueDonim Thu 03-Oct-19 10:50:36

Some branches of Specsavers offer ear cleaning (not syringing, they use a tiny vacuum, which is much gentler). I think it's about £40, though I don't know if that is for one or both ears.

There are also private 'clinics' which offer the same thing.

I know we shouldn't have to pay but when it come to comfort, sometimes needs must.

mamaa Thu 03-Oct-19 10:52:40

I’m not holding out much hope re district nurse as my brother has asked numerous times, I live away and he works full time and getting time off for him is tricky. I thought I’d try and ask again today when they try and get her to comply...she’ll probably hear perfectly though 😂

mamaa Thu 03-Oct-19 12:09:51

Well, going to the Drs was stressful for her, and over and over she said don’t leave me as she didn’t know where she was, and she’s been going there for years! So how she’d be in an unfamiliar place heaven only knows!
The flu nurse didn’t hold out much hope re the district nurse coming; said she’d ask but suggested nothing lost if we tried the walk-in but were unsuccessful! What happened to community care and looking after the elderly?
Thanks for taking time to post your replies, will try the walk-in but not today as I think she’s had enough ‘change’ for one day- not sure my bro will agree as I go home tomorrow!
Back to grandchildren and imminent further addition- I was less busy when I worked full-time!

Charleygirl5 Thu 03-Oct-19 12:36:32

Perhaps go to your local pharmacist and buy ear drops to soften the wax. Could somebody in the family apply the drops for her?

mamaa Thu 03-Oct-19 18:45:49

Thankyou Charleygirl5 think that’s the next step- the carers will be able to administer the drop.

Gossamerbeynon1945 Thu 03-Oct-19 19:05:05

I have had someone come to the house. It was excellent and cost £70 for both ears. If you live in South Wales I can give you his details. Very nice man

JackyB Thu 03-Oct-19 19:05:36

On a recent thread on this subject, someone said that they softened it with olive oil drops, then used a bicarbonate of soda solution, and then a small over the counter suction gadget to suck it out. Maybe whoever it was will look in here and tell you the name of the gadget.

Doodle Thu 03-Oct-19 21:51:48

Not sure what all surgeries do but the thinking these days is that ear syringing is not necessary in most cases and our surgery would only do it if the patient was asked to get it done by the ENT surgeon. They would not even contemplate it unless the patient had put ear drops in for several days first. Why not ask at the local pharmacy and see what they advise.

Jane10 Thu 03-Oct-19 22:05:30

I had the suction method. It was very well done by an audiologist. There was a tiny camera which relayed pictures of my war drums to a monitor so I could see before and after views. One ear was full of wax and one was completely clear of it. No idea why that should be. 🤔
Not helpful for the OP I'm afraid. They wouldn't use the syringe method on me as I've previously had burst eardrums. Might that be an issue for your mum?

Granny23 Thu 03-Oct-19 22:27:41

Our surgery does not do syringing of ears now either. I was advised to get drops from the pharmacy and administer them for 3 days following the instructions carefully. Then, having left the drops in for the correct time, to rinse out each ear using a small plastic syringe filled with lightly salted, lukewarm water. This certainly helped my DH's hearing and I aim to repeat the process once a month.

wildswan16 Thu 03-Oct-19 22:58:24

There was a tiny camera which relayed pictures of my war drums to a monitor

Jane10 I love the idea that you have war drums in your ears - must make your life really interesting!

Sussexborn Thu 03-Oct-19 23:33:36

Used to be that you had to put sterilised olive oil in for at least one week before the nurses would consider syringing ears. Don’t really hear about it much these days.

Is it worth checking with the audio side of Specsavers to see if they do home visits?

BlueSapphire Thu 03-Oct-19 23:43:37

Our surgery stopped doing it and told DH to use olive oil etc and then prescribed a bicarbonate solution which was useless. In the end I consulted Dr Google and found a local private clinic who told us to come in the same day, and used the suction method. Worked perfectly, cost £50, but money well spent. But that might be difficult if you can't get your DM to go out.

CocoPops Fri 04-Oct-19 01:57:44

Cerumol Ear Wax Removal Drops 2 or 3 times a day for 3 days and the wax will run out freely unless it is unusually hard.
Buy from your pharmacy.

BlueBelle Fri 04-Oct-19 08:13:39

But you re asking for ear solutions without knowing why she isn’t hearing why put her through all this upheaval if it’s her cognition surely the first move is to find out what is causing the deafness before looking for solutions to wax build up etc as you ve no idea at this stage that she needs her ears syringed
Is she under a dementia doctor ?
Make her an appointment at her surgery to talk about her ears and her hearing if it is a build up then you can try the remedies on here or get her a taxi or car to the centre taking her comfort items doll clothes etc with you hold her hand and smile a lot to reassure her
My mum had severe dementia and it’s not easy but can be done
But find out what it is first if it’s cognition no point in all this upset if taking her to the centre

BlueBelle Fri 04-Oct-19 08:14:51

‘Of’ taking her to the centre ( not if)

Teetime Fri 04-Oct-19 09:44:43

I used to do all these things as a DN but unfortunately the service is swamped now and the focus is keeping people out of hospital. Nursing people at home is now at a very high level as more and more procedures can be done in the home and there just aren't enough DNs to go round. I spoke at an RCN conference some years ago and said that the day would come when District Nursing would no longer be 'the ward that never closed' as in those days we took referrals for everything and could not refuse a request to visit. Not everyone in the audience believed me! Wish I had put a bet on it.

Luckygirl Fri 04-Oct-19 10:11:18

Isn't it sad that something so simple that can transform someone's life (especially if they have dementia) is so hard to get done when someone is disabled? It is a false economy really as someone with dementia will be worse if they cannot hear and will use up more care staff input time.

My OH was a GP and they used to do it themselves when he was first in practice. He loved doing it as it was one of the few occasions when the patient came in with a problem and went out felling better! - that and sticking a knife in thrombosed piles, lancing a boil etc. were the joys of his life!!!

ElaineI Fri 04-Oct-19 13:31:21

You need to ask a doctor or nurse to look into her ears to check she actually has wax occluding her ear drums before using any kind of drops or it will be a waste of time and can cause irritation.

H1954 Fri 04-Oct-19 13:51:42

Yes Elaine1, I'm with you on this. Not wanting to sound unkind but the lady in question, having Dementia, might have decided that she doesn't want to hear.
She certainly needs to be seen by a GP though to rule out possible infection and build up of wax.

Jane10 Fri 04-Oct-19 16:12:59

'The joys of his life!!'? Oh luckygirl what a thought!