Hearing loss for Senior Citizens

Hello!

I’ve actually been to a convention for hearing impaired people. We went with a communication partner, a person who you communicate with often in your daily life. We learned about various listening and communication skills and we brought that partner because listening isn’t a one sided thing. The people in our lives also need to learn how to communicate in ways that are clear to us. For example, if someone has repeated the same thing in hopes that you hear it (I am going to the store to get some food), one thing they can do is try rephrasing (I am going to go buy groceries). Say it in a different way, because obviously you aren’t being understood saying it first way. Maybe they are struggling to hear S sounds, because it is a soft higher pitched sound and can’t understand the word store and some. In this case, the communicator has to change how he communicates. Not the best example, but you get the idea.

Now the real reason, I’m writing this. My roommate, who was my communication partner, and I were the youngest attendees. Almost all of the others were senior citizens, and while I was there I got to learn a little bit about how seniors views hearing aids and hearing loss. I’ve mentioned before that senior citizens will often deny they have a hearing problem, and refuse to wear hearing aids. One person there told me, that when you are getting old, it isn’t just the hearing loss. Your entire body is slowly shutting down on you. It is falling apart and gradually becoming less healthy. It isn’t just their ears, but pretty much every part of their body. Losing their hearing is something that they associate with aging and in their case it is because of age. It is something that they feel ashamed of, which is sad. Their quality of life has just been getting worse and worse, and sometimes they just don’t want to believe that.

Most will get hearing aids, but the nude ones. The ones that hide their hearing loss. Even if they have realized that they do need them and will admit it, it is still not something that they are proud of. They want to hide from others just how much their body is betraying them. Now this isn’t what all elderly people think, this is just the general view I’ve gotten from the other people at the convention. Maybe some really are vain and just think that hearing aids are ugly looking pieces of technology, and don’t want to draw attention to them for that reason.

If y’all want, in the future I can talk more about the convention and some of the things I’ve learned there. I might still have the big binder I received there that has a bunch of information about communicating.

Thanks!

Colorful Molds and Pride

Hello!

So this will be about having colorful hearing aid molds. First hearing aid molds, are the soft squishy part of a BTE hearing aid that sits inside of the ear canal. I’ve only ever had colorful molds. Green. Blue. White. Purple. Pink. One color that I pretty much always have somewhere is purple, because purple is my favorite color and I would try other colors more if I weren’t limit to one pair at a time and if I got to change my molds more often than every few years. It isn’t quite like braces where you can change the elastics in a month when you visit the orthodontist again.

Something that I’ve noticed over the years is that generally elderly people who lose their hearing due to age tend to have skin/nude colored hearing aids. People who have had them since they were really young tend to go for the crazy colors. Even though I am now 21 years old, I still am not at all interested in the plain looking hearing aids, and a lot of my friends who are now young adults and grew up with hearing aids. I never understood why until I got to talk more with elderly people with hearing loss. They try everything they can to hide their loss. They go for the most hidden hearing aids that they can get. It always felt almost vain to me.

One reason that I wear brightly colored hearing aids is so that people notice them. This is one of the ways that I show my pride in being this way. My pride in overcoming some of the struggles I’ve encountered being HoH. It is a way to show people that I might need a little bit of assistance at times. It is my way of making sure people can see that part of myself, because it is part of my identity. There are things that I never would’ve gotten the opportunity to do had it not been for my hearing loss. So to be ashamed of my hearing loss and go out of my way to hide them would really be a shame. I’ve worked hard to have a fairly normal sounding voice. I continue to work hard to improve my singing voice, despite having a slight disadvantage over others. I’ve danced for most of my life, despite struggling a bit to hear the music at times. I want people to know that I have a hearing loss. Not to play the “handicapped” card, but to show that I have done a lot despite it.

In the future, I will cover the some of the reasons that elderly people go out of their way to hide their hearing loss.