Our elder family members are spending time with us this Thanksgiving Weekend. Is this a good time to talk about hearing aids?


Susan L Fenrich, BC-HIS*

When the family is together for Thanksgiving it’s a great time to address changes in anyone’s hearing, whether subtle or obvious. When with elders, or other hearing-challenged family members, you may notice the problems they are having with communicating with others. Try to notice any difficulties in hearing, and especially pay attention to their behavior. When one has a hearing loss it is easier for them to avoid the conversation rather than to participate. Perhaps mom stays in the kitchen, or dad in front of the TV ball game. Do they join in conversations? If they are in on a conversation, do they monopolize it? That’s one way to avoid having to answer any misunderstood questions.

What is the conversation like during Thanksgiving Dinner? If you ask your dad to pass the potatoes, did he think you said tomatoes? Do you need to raise your voice to get them to hear? Do they always talk loudly? This is common because they can’t hear their own voice. How often do you have to repeat?

During the TV football game, does your dad always have to ask for the score? He could have a hearing loss. Does your mom fall asleep in her chair in spite of all the cheering and yelling? She would have to have a hearing loss if she is able to sleep through all that noise!

As you observe these behaviors, it is a good time to point them out as the frustrating situations are fresh in their minds, and yours. Gently and lovingly suggest that your parents and other elders have their hearing tested to see if hearing aids might improve their ability to hear in many situations. Family support in purchasing hearing aids helps a great deal during the decision making process. You may want to suggest that you will go with them to their hearing test appointment. Make it a fun family togetherness opportunity!

Since hearing tends to decline gradually, your parents and other elders may not even notice that they have a hearing loss. They just may need you and other family members to point it out. Many parents who know they need hearing aids put it off thinking they are too “old” for the investment. You may need to assure them that they are not too old to get hearing aids and that you want to enjoy your time conversing with them while they are still alive.

Thanksgiving Weekend could be a great time to gently point out any communication faux pas, laugh about them together, and suggest a hearing test. If they are already considering hearing aids as an option, encourage them to try hearing aids virtually Risk FREE over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Contact our office at 920-452-0213, or come to our Sheboygan office located at 2223 S. Memorial place.

Susan Fenrich and her staff at Welsch Hearing Aid Company wish you and your loved ones and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving!

By Susan L. Fenrich, BC-HIS, Licensed Hearing Instrument Specialist, Board Certified in Hearing Instrument Sciences
The content at Welsch Hearing Aid Company blog entries, print media and websites, including text, graphics, images, opinions, or information obtained from links, is provided for informational purposes only. This content should not be considered by anyone as a substitute for medical or other hearing health professional diagnosis, treatment, advice, or recommendations.