Father’s Day is approaching, and chances are you will be visiting your family for the weekend. Family is an integral part of our lives, and communicating with family is just as important. Healthy communication is the foundation of healthy relationships. With hearing loss, speech recognition becomes increasingly complicated, causing poor communication.
Whether you plan to have a family event or spend some one-on-one time with your dad this Father’s Day, make sure your dad gets the most out of the weekend by helping him hear.
Does your Father have hearing loss?
Hearing loss is one of the top three most common health problems facing American adults today. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders reports that one-third of seniors age 65 and above suffer from hearing loss. The number rises to half of all seniors over 75, and dads are even more at risk. Because men spend much of their careers in significantly louder working environments, men are twice as likely as women to acquire hearing loss. If your dad struggles to hear, it’s a perfect time to strike up a conversation about better hearing this Father’s Day.
Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss happens gradually over time. People will often compensate for their lack of hearing by asking others to repeat themselves or turn up the volume. Unfortunately, these “quick fixes” do not always work. A common complaint about hearing loss is that it is difficult for them to understand the conversation.
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, if you answer “yes” to some of the following, you may be experiencing a hearing loss.
- Ask people to repeat what they’ve said?
- Have trouble following along in casual group settings?
- Feel like those who are speaking to you mumble?
- Continually increase the volume on the TV or car radio?
- Avoid busy restaurants and events?
- Feel embarrassed to talk openly about not being able to hear?
- Avoid activities you used to love but have become painful because you cannot join in fully anymore?
- Feel distant from your grandchildren because you cannot hear their high-pitched voices?
- Feel mentally drained after family holidays or functions because so many people talk at once?
Planning for Father’s Day
It’s great you plan to honor dad, but consider one more thing. If your dad is struggling with hearing loss, a loud party could leave him out of the loop, confused, or frustrated that he can’t communicate like he used to. No one wants to feel left out, especially at a party in their recognition.
Here are a few tips to help the party go off without a hitch and help your dad enjoy a great weekend.
Tips to help dad hear more effectively
Pull up a chair: Being at the same eye level increases the ability of those with hearing loss to understand what you’re saying since they can see you while speaking.
Talk head-on: Speaking face to face and not from the side allows your dad to see your face and read your expressions more easily. If you are standing near the grill together or sitting beside one another to watch TV, be sure you’re on the side of his good ear.
Taking turns: To make sure the Father’s Day celebrations go well, remind the family to speak one at a time. The grandkids are excited to tell grandpa about what’s happening in their lives. Still, too many people speaking at once will make the day stressful for your Father. Take turns talking so dad has a chance to comprehend what each person is saying entirely.
Treatment for hearing loss
For people over the age of 50, Salem Audiology Clinic recommends taking an annual hearing test, giving you a good sense of your hearing abilities. If a hearing loss is detected later, you can immediately address the problem.
If you haven’t been tested yet, use our simple and free Online Hearing Test to understand where you fall on the hearing loss spectrum. Please note that our online hearing test is not a professional diagnosis. To receive a professional diagnosis, you will need to be examined by an Audiologist. However, the hearing check can help you choose the best advanced, affordable hearing aid for your situation.
Talk to your dad about hearing loss, and encourage him to seek treatment. Remind him of all the missing sounds and how much he struggles to follow conversations.
Regardless of what you get for him, Father’s Day is a celebratory event. Taking the time to plan how dad’s hearing loss might affect his special day is a great way to show you care. The hearing loss certainly doesn’t have to put a damper on your next Father’s Day.