The hearing deficit in an elderly person is always much
greater than they or you realize. Try to understand these communications:
What the elderly
What they think What they
“Look at the sunshine,
isn't it a
“Look at something,
isn't it a
What a stupid sentence.
But she wants
an answer. So here
“We'll have such a
“Have a…rock.” Rock what? I'm not in a
rocking char. I better
not say anything.
“What kind of soup
should I make?”
“What kind of
hoop should I
I haven't used a hoop for
embroidery for a long
time. Why is she
digging that up. I better
say I don't know.
“I don't know.”
Don't let this ruin your relationship. It takes the fun out of
their life as much as yours. Get hearing aids.
Don't ask your loved one if they need a hearing aid. The answer
may be “I'm not deaf.” You can go about it more persuasively.
Every time you talk, come quite near to the person's ear
and speak loudly. They can see that you must come near. If they
are fighting against the whole business, they will say things like,
“You don't have to shout. I can hear you.” (It's what you're saying
Arrange for a hearing test. It is free. That will appeal. The
results of a hearing test, as it is told by a salesperson, is much
more persuasive than you can be. Let the salesperson use his or
her special talents to sell your loved one on hearing aids. But you
make the choice on quality. Both you and your elderly person
deserve the best tone quality that is made. Plus a regular cleaning
service. Most companies do offer this but don't tell the customer
because of the dreadful amount of time it would take if
everybody took advantage of it. You take advantage of it.
Clogged hearing aids are the most troublesome feature of any of
them—and never mentioned! Make it a rule to buy your batteries
at the same hearing aid office where they are cleaned free of
charge. This repays them and serves the elderly best. Hearing
loss is too subtle to leave to chance; have the hearing aids
cleaned each time you buy fresh batteries (about three months).
Take your loved one to a nurse for ear cleaning every six months
after hearing aids are begun. Wax and debris accumulate behind
the aid because the channel is stopped up.
With hearing aids that hear, and kidneys that flush and a heart
that beats strongly, your elderly person may choose to attend
concerts again, go to church or gatherings—and leave you out of
the picture. Give yourself good grades for this achievement. Get
them incontinence pants, get regular taxi service. Do whatever it
takes to get your loved one out into the world again!
If the excitement of a night out keeps him or her from sleeping
use ornithine and valerian capsules. They are good
for the health anyway. Hot milk and a piece of cake (homemade,
never chocolate) may do as much.
But if insomnia is the rule, not the exception, you need to go
after it as a special problem.