Mother’s Day is one of the best times to let your mom know how important she is to you.
But there's more to Mother’s Day than yellow carnations and Hallmark cards. Sometimes, letting Mom know how much you love her means telling her hard truths about her health. Sometimes it means telling her that her hearing ability is not what it should be.
Many reports on hearing impairment have shown that elderly persons with undiagnosed hearing loss are seen as uncommunicative, self-isolating, uncooperative and, in extreme cases, mentally incapacitated.
According to a paper prepared by the Public Health Agency of Canada, hearing loss is the most common sensory impairment in adults over the age of 65, affecting more than 30% of Canadians in this age group.
The study also says one in 10 Canadians have hearing loss. More than 50% of Canadians over the age of 65 have an inner-ear hearing loss.
Connect Hearing is dedicated to getting people engaged in the conversation about hearing loss. That’s why we encourage all Canadians — including moms — to visit one of our clinics for a free hearing test.
But how do you bring up the subject? How do you talk about an issue that’s this sensitive and possibly painful? According to our Director of Professional Practice M.J. DeSousa, broaching the topic of hearing loss doesn’t need to be traumatic.
“This is the important thing to remember when discussing hearing loss, or any important health subject with someone you love and care about — it’s all about love,” says DeSousa. “You love the person and their well being is important to you. That’s the foundation of the conversation. What you build on that foundation of love are facts based in truth. ‘Mom, the fact is you’re saying pardon and speak up a lot. Mom, the fact is you have the television and radio on maximum volume to the point we can’t enjoy programs with you any more. Mom, the fact is we love you, we are worried about your hearing health, and want to help you.' Those are things you can say to start the conversation and keep it on a sensitive note.”
According to social work today, hearing loss plays a role in how older adults experience and react to environmental stressors. Older adults who are hard of hearing often report that when their hearing loss causes communication problems, it results in difficulty thinking or concentrating and leads to inattentiveness, distraction, and boredom. The most serious consequence is withdrawal or abandoning participation. So while it may not be comfortable, dealing with the issue and addressing your concerns about Mom’s hearing is the best course of action.
“If you suspect your mom or anyone in your family might be dealing with hearing issues then they will appreciate you finding the courage to talk to them about it," DeSousa says. "The gift of hearing health is the best gift a Mom can get.”