Parents often try to hide everyday troubles from their adult children out of fear of getting older or appearing incompetent. However, hearing loss is common and affects millions of older adults. Keep a close eye on your parents this Thanksgiving to observe their behavior. The holidays are a frequent time that children notice signs of hearing loss in their parents. Fortunately, you can use the holiday as a way to open the conversation about hearing aid technology.
- Failing to pass the salt. People with hearing loss often fail to notice small requests, particularly if they’re made in a low to moderate tone to avoid interrupting conversation. If you’re noticing that your mom or dad doesn’t respond to your requests to pass the mashed potatoes, a more comprehensive evaluation may be necessary.
- Difficulty following conversations. A common sign of hearing loss is noticing that a loved one can no longer follow conversations. This may manifest as repeating stories or failing to respond. In fact, some older people with hearing loss may actually seem like they’re experiencing memory problems. As a result, it’s important to get a hearing evaluation first to identify any sensory issues.
- Complaining about background noise. For many people with hearing loss, background noise can make it nearly impossible to pick out conversations. Pay attention whether your mom or dad complains about background noise or buzzing sounds, which can be signs of hearing loss.
- Requiring repetition. Needing frequent repetition isn’t necessarily a sign that your parent isn’t paying attention. This is a common feature of hearing loss.
- Intently watching faces. Many people with hearing loss try to compensate by reading lips. If you’ve noticed that your loved one seems to be watching faces or mouths more intently, hearing loss may be the cause.
- Withdrawal or avoidance of social situations. Perhaps your dad has always been the life of the party, telling jokes or funny stories. But this year, he’s sitting quietly and going off to be in a room by himself. When hearing loss makes it difficult to follow conversations, many people respond by withdrawing or avoiding social situations.
- Seeming more stressed than usual. Of course, Thanksgiving can often be a source of stress, particularly if your parents are hosting a family gathering. However, it’s important to stay attuned to signs of stress that is greater than usual. Becoming snappish, arguing, or being irritable are signs of increased stress. Ask your loved one if he or she is stressed out by the holiday itself or because of hearing difficulties.
If you’ve noticed that your mom or dad is having trouble hearing this Thanksgiving, it’s time to get professional help. The staff at My Hearing Centers are specially trained to work with your loved one to arrive at a hearing technology solution that’s best. Visit one of My Hearing Centers convenient locations today to restore your loved one’s ability to hear.