I have written so much about my Dad that I wanted to write something about my Mom. With Mother's Day in May, I thought it was a perfect time! She and I were very close, we talked almost every day. I noticed in recent years that she was missing some of the things I was saying in conversations. She would say I didn’t tell her things when I know that I did. I also noticed the television volume increasing, and it wasn’t my Dad turning it up!
Hearing loss affects Senior Citizens. It is quite common to lose hearing as you age.
25% of people between 65 and 75 have some sort of hearing loss and 50% of people over 75 have a hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss happens for many different reasons; changes in the ear canal and inner ear as you age or medication can affect your hearing. Sometimes it’s from other medical issues.
It’s important to get your ears checked if you believe you have hearing loss! You may have no issue at all and it’s just wax buildup. (Having the wax removed from your ears is generally simple, but should be done by a physician.) However, you could have an issue that needs medical attention like a virus, and with medication, your issue can be resolved. Other times, you do have a permanent loss and you need to assess your loss. Perhaps you can get a hearing aid to help you hear better.
One issue I would like to mention is that sometimes people think an older person has dementia or altered mental status, but they are having a hard time hearing and don’t want to admit it. People can seem depressed because they are not taking part in conversations when in reality, they cannot hear well in crowds and so they are choosing not to participate in activities. If you are helping to care for someone and you are in the position of wondering if the person you are caring for has an issue, maybe you should get a hearing evaluation and see if they need to have some hearing assistance.
My Mom wasn’t to the point of needing hearing aids, and she would strike me down if I said she was. She and my Dad were quite happy allowing the neighbors to hear their television. I just learned to make sure I asked her if she wrote down dates and times in her calendar so that I could double-check to make sure she heard me correctly.
Patience is the key to dealing with a person who has lost their hearing later in life. You will have to repeat yourself. You will have to ensure they got the correct information. They may not want to change the way they do things and getting used to hearing aids may be difficult. They may not want to take part in activities where there are large crowds because it's hard to discern conversations and loud noise may hurt their ears. There are some things to take into consideration, but with a little thought, it doesn’t have to be a chore.
This is a great website for more information: https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/age-related-hearing-loss. You will be able to find all sorts of great information and a quiz about recognizing the signs of hearing loss.
My Mom was a wonderful Mom and a beautiful person inside and out. There are hardly any pictures we have where she isn’t smiling. She is where I learned my love of humanity from. She was a nurse and when she started her career, she worked in the NICU. She ended her career in geriatrics. I used to go to work with her. She worked midnights. I would help the aides pass out water to the patients and then help them check on patients. I was also a Candy striper because I felt like I was following in her footsteps. It’s no wonder I decided to lead Global down the path of medical interpreting. I was headed there since birth! I loved spending time with my Mom and I cherish those memories.
Starting this company and running it, providing a service, it’s what I was raised to do. My Sister is in human services as well. We learned from our family that kindness matters; everyone is important. My Dad taught me to be forthright. My grandparents taught me to be resilient. My Mom taught me to network and develop relationships. My family gave me the foundation I needed to become a leader. I was born to be an entrepreneur.
I love my Mom and I miss her terribly. I hope this information about hearing loss is helpful. Both of my parents loved to teach and if she thought she helped even one person her face would be beaming. Share this information with a friend or family member whom you think may have a hearing loss, she would absolutely love that.