I’ve found that after I’ve asked someone to repeat themselves – for the third time, they just shake their head with that look that says “Oh, never mind. It’s not really that important – even though your house is on fire!” Or when someone asks me a question, I often just silently nod, with a goofy smile, hoping they aren't asking something I could easily answer - if I could just understand them! Ah, the trials and tribulations of living with hearing loss.
But I’m only one of nearly 36 million Americans who have some degree of hearing loss of which 35% are older than 64. And as I have learned, hearing loss is more than trying to understand conversations. It can lead to frustration, anger, name-calling – and that’s just my wife’s reaction when I can't understand her.
Hearing loss is a serious chronic condition with significant health risks effecting a person’s emotional, social and cognitive well being. According to the Better Hearing Institute, studies have linked untreated hearing loss to: irritability, negativism and anger; fatigue, tension, stress and depression; avoidance or withdrawal from social situations; social rejection and loneliness; reduced alertness and increased risk to personal safety; impaired memory and ability to learn new tasks; reduced job performance and earning power; diminished psychological and overall health. That’s quite a list.
But many people who are aware their hearing has deteriorated, are reluctant to seek help for many different reasons: embarrassment, sign of weakness or they feel they can get by without any help. Unfortunately, too many folks wait years before getting treatment.
If you suspect you have a hearing loss, don't wait. First step, check with your health care provider. It could be something easily treatable: wax in the ear canals or an ear infection. But if is something more complicated, such as sudden hearing loss, you will probably need to see a Ear, Nose and Throat specialist or an audiologist to arrange for a hearing test to determine the degree of hearing loss and what options you have - such as hearing aids.
You can learn more including types and causes of hearing loss; different treatments; and the latest trends in hearing aid technology, at the 11:00 Tuesday Lecture on June 24th when Jim Petrusich, audiologist at MCMC, will be the speaker. It should be a fascinating and informative presentation on an important topic that affects many of us.
The Center does not offer computer classes, but it does provide computer help every Wednesday from 9:00 -10:00 (or call for an appointment) for those who are stuck or need help with the basics. Bring your laptop or iPad, or even your iPhone, with you. But I know many folks who aren't interested in learning about computers or the Internet. And yet, more and more information is now provided online. If you are looking for information or forms - for example the Elderly Rental Assistance Program Form (90R), call the Center and we will do our best to find the information online and print it for you.
At the Center this Saturday the 21st is your monthly chance to let someone else do the breakfast cooking. The menu includes Biscuits and Gravy with scrambled eggs and sausage plus fruit and coffee served from 8:00 to 9:30 - all for $5.00. Thanks to Leanne Curtis and the employes of The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation Center for sponsoring the breakfast.
Truman will be playing his “Country Gold” at the Center on Tuesday, June 24th. Doors open at 6:00 and music starts at 7:00. All ages are welcome and donations are appreciated.
One of the most popular American actors in the 50’s, winner of an Academy Award for his role in Stalag 17, and best man at Ronald and Nancy Reagan’s wedding was William Holden. (The winner of a free Saturday Breakfast is Joann Scott.)
During the 1940s and early ‘50s, a big band toured under the name “The Musical Depreciation Revue”. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of the American musician who led this band that was known for their irreverent arrangements of popular songs often using gunshots, whistles, cowbells, and outlandish vocals? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org, call 541-296-4788 or mail it with a 1942 recording of the City Slickers performing “Der Feuhrer’s Face”.
Well, its been another week trying to keep the beat without forgetting the lyrics. Until we meet again, don’t try to build a suspension bridge over a river that doesn't exist.
“I dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the road and not be questioned about their motives.” Anonymous