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I find myself shouting too often. It is the unfortunate side effect of working with clients who do not hear well. Their hardness of hearing makes it difficult for me to give them important information about their plan of care and it can be frustrating.

I remember a gentleman that Care N Assist provided in home care for, for three years until his death in 2013. He would frequently say, “I don’t shive a git.” His wife would look at me with worry as he was giving up control of his life. His hardness of hearing had gotten so bad that even with his hearing aides in he could barely understand a common conversation. When I would begin to talk about his medical concerns, well it wasn’t usually successful.

Common causes of hearing loss in adults can either be inherited from parents, or acquired from an illness, caused by ototoxic (ear damaging) drugs, exposure to loud noise, tumors, head injury, or the aging process according to the American Speech Language Hearing Association. The loss can occur by itself or with tinnitus (ringing in the ears).

For those of you that enjoy the details, I found the information on the website for the Hearing Loss Association of America very clear and easy to read. It has details about the three types of hearing loss and their possible treatments. The following link will take you to their sight… http://www.hearingloss.org/content/types-causes-and-treatment

I imagine most people of age and distinction have no control over their hearing loss. It is something that comes with the territory. Most of them will be seen by an audiologist and fitted with hearing aids. Their insurance may cover the cost, or they may have to save up in order to afford them.

The importance of being able to communicate, to be understood and to hear others is ultimately what matters. The entire healthcare industry depends on our patients’ ability to hear and understand their condition and treatment.

My frustration, as a registered nurse, comes when I have a client who has given up. No matter how loud I shout instructions, I really just want them to hear me say that I care about them and want to help. Hearing loss doesn’t have to be an end for our client’s social lives. Creative solutions can be found and services like our In Home Care exist to support that.