Have you noticed that your mom or dad seems to find it hard to hear what people are saying these days? Do you often have to repeat what you say or talk in a louder than usual volume to them? If the answer to both questions is yes, they are likely experiencing hearing loss.
The following are a few tips and techniques you can suggest to your elderly parent so they can improve your hearing and better understand what’s getting said in social settings and other scenarios:
If your parent has never gone for a hearing test before, it makes perfect sense to suggest to your mom or dad that they get one done. An audiologist can conduct a thorough examination of their hearing to determine the likely reason for their hearing deterioration.
They can also suggest ways to improve their hearing, such as having hearing aids custom-made for them. If they’re unfamiliar with hearing aids, the audiologist will explain how they work, how to use them, and the common hearing aid issues they might experience.
Some older adults might actually have good hearing but simply need their ears cleaning out professionally in case of a wax build-up that isn’t coming out during their regular washing routines.
TV Closed Captions/Subtitles
Do people (i.e., neighbors) complain that your mom or dad has their TV volume up too high? If that’s the case, it can make sense to activate the closed captions or subtitles functionality on their televisions.
Almost all TV programs broadcast over the air have closed captions or subtitles, and it can help your parent understand better what’s happening in a busy social scene. Most DVD and Blu-ray programming also have the same functionality.
If your mom or dad often misses phone calls or visitors at their doorstep, it can help to introduce visual aids that activate whenever such events occur. For instance, they could have a home telephone that flashes up a color display whenever someone calls.
It’s also possible to buy wireless doorbells linked to indoor units that both sound and illuminate whenever someone presses the doorbell. There are many products on the market that offer such functionality.
Slow Down Your Speech
While hearing aids undoubtedly offer many benefits to older adults, such as your elderly mom or dad, people that are hard of hearing might still find it challenging to understand what others are saying in a social setting.
When you visit your elderly parent, one thing you can do to help is slow down your speech when you talk to them in person. Why? The answer is simple: they will find it easier to lip-read what you’re saying to them.
Many people that are hard of hearing rely on lip-reading as a backup means of understanding what gets said in social settings.
There is sadly no cure for hearing loss. However, there are many ways that you can help someone like your mom or dad to understand what gets said or to alert them when certain events occur at their home.