Hearing Loss

The hearing deficit in an elderly person is always much greater than they or you realize. Try to understand these com­munications:

What you (caregiver) say

What the eld­erly person hears

What they think

What they respond

“Look at the sun­shine, isn’t it a nice day?”

“Look at some­thing, isn’t it a nice bay?”

What a stupid sen­tence. But she wants an answer. So here goes,




“We’ll have such a nice walk.”

“Have a…rock.”

Rock what? I’m not in a rocking char. I better not say anything.

“What kind of soup should I make?”

“What kind of hoop should I make?”

I haven’t used a hoop for embroidery for a long time. Why is she digging that up. I better say I don’t know.

“I don’t know.”

Don’t let this ruin your relationship. It takes the fun out of their life as much as yours. Get hearing aids.

Don’t ask your loved one if they need a hearing aid. The an­swer may be “I’m not deaf.” You can go about it more persua­sively. Every time you talk, come quite near to the person’s ear and speak loudly. They can see that you must come near. If they are fighting against the whole business, they will say things like, “You don’t have to shout. I can hear you.” (It’s what you’re saying that’s wrong!)

Arrange for a hearing test. It is free. That will appeal. The results of a hearing test, as it is told by a salesperson, is much more persuasive than you can be. Let the salesperson use his or her special talents to sell your loved one on hearing aids. But you make the choice on quality. Both you and your elderly person deserve the best tone quality that is made. Plus a regular cleaning service. Most companies do offer this but don’t tell the customer because of the dreadful amount of time it would take if everybody took advantage of it. You take advantage of it. Clogged hearing aids are the most troublesome feature of any of them—and never mentioned! Make it a rule to buy your batteries at the same hearing aid office where they are cleaned free of charge. This repays them and serves the elderly best. Hearing loss is too subtle to leave to chance; have the hearing aids cleaned each time you buy fresh batteries (about three months). Take your loved one to a nurse for ear cleaning every six months after hearing aids are begun. Wax and debris accumulate behind the aid because the channel is stopped up.

With hearing aids that hear, and kidneys that flush and a heart that beats strongly, your elderly person may choose to attend concerts again, go to church or gatherings—and leave you out of the picture. Give yourself good grades for this achievement. Get them incontinence pants, get regular taxi service. Do whatever it takes to get your loved one out into the world again!

If the excitement of a night out keeps him or her from sleeping use ornithine and valerian capsules. They are good for the health anyway. Hot milk and a piece of cake (homemade, never chocolate) may do as much.

But if insomnia is the rule, not the exception, you need to go after it as a special problem.


is always associated with high levels of parasites and bacte­ria. This leads me to believe it is their waste products, namely ammonia, that really causes insomnia. Read the section on In­somnia under Sleep Problems for more on this (page 243).

A sound sleep refreshes as nothing else can. Your elderly person will have more energy throughout the day and a better mood if sleep was good.

of course you must guard against daytime napping if nights are sleepless. Sleep at night is more important than sleep by day. They are not equal. Try to turn your loved one’s cycle back to night-time sleeping if it has become turned around by bad kidney function (frequent urination at night) or too much daytime napping. sleep can be disturbed by taking vitamins at bedtime too. sleep is enhanced by taking magnesium. Limit bedtime supplements to magnesium, ornithine, valerian (6 capsules) taken with hot milk.