HANK’S STORY: The gift of sound

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For the past year or so, my husband and I have noticed that my dad’s hearing has been going downhill. It first started when we were travelling with him and mom. He kept asking us to repeat what we were saying. At first I thought he was just tired and cranky; after all, he is 77 years old. Then, I called him one afternoon and heard the TV blasting in the background. It was so loud that I thought mom must have some of her girlfriends over for a game of bridge!

A stubborn position 

I knew I had to do something about my father’s hearing, so I invited mom over for tea to discuss the issue. She said that she had tried to push him to see an audiologist, but dad was adamant that nothing was wrong with his hearing and that everybody “should just leave well enough alone.” Although I sort of understood his attitude, I felt it was not acceptable. After all, I thought, he ought to think about his safety. What would happen if he couldn’t hear another car honking when he’s driving?

What a difference 

Mom and I decided the only thing we could do was to keep nagging him until he finally went to the doctor. About two months ago, he was fitted for hearing aids at a hearing centre. Boy, what a big difference! We no longer have to repeat everything we say, the TV is at a more acceptable level (thus saving mom’s hearing) and he seems much happier and more social.

Overcoming embarrassment 

Dad recently admitted why he was so reluctant to go for a hearing test: he didn’t want other people to see that he had “something wrong with him.” He was surprised to learn that modern hearing aids are now so small that they’re only visible when looking directly into the ears.

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