Hearing Loss

The hearing deficit in an elderly person is always much

greater than they or you realize. Try to understand these communications:

What you

(caregiver) say

What the elderly

person

hears

What they think What they

respond

“Look at the sunshine,

isn't it a

nice day?”

“Look at something,

isn't it a

nice bay?”

What a stupid sentence.

But she wants

an answer. So here

goes,

“MmmHmmm”

(Meaning,

“yes.”)

“We'll have such a

nice walk.”

“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

make?”

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

that's wrong!)

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.



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