There is a simple way to make conversations clearer

'What's that you say?' Photo: Stock

Why is it that people who really need hearing aids are often the ones who most refuse to wear them. To enflame the situation, they are usually a relative. Other people’s relatives never seemed to have the same problem talking and listening.

Now take my mother. Please! Sorry old joke but a good one.

My mother will not wear her hearing aids. She says it might ‘flatten the battery’.

Okay, we all remember pictures and stories of the old aunt with the hearing trumpet stuck to her ear and her favourite saying was, “Speak up sonny”, so you get near this tuba type device — seems so big when you’re a kid — nand repeat what you said. Next minute she blurts out, “Well you don’t have to shout.”  You cannot win.

Then came the transistorised devices make memorable by Uncle Arthur on television. It did make the wearer look like a cross between a secret service agent and escapee from a radio assembly line, but they worked. These devises were better but again, unless they were used, instead of collecting dust in the cupboard, they too are ineffective.

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The devices available today have as many features as a modern TV. They are so small they can be worn without being visible. Yet, my mother will not wear them.

“It makes everything so loud,” she says.

“That’s the purpose of the hearing aid,” I reply in exasperation.

My neighbour’s devices have Bluetooth fitted and he can watch the football on TV in peace without his wife telling him to turn it down. He’s English so it’s with a round ball and not the good Aussie rules, but that’s allowed.

Now if I had to get hearing aids, I’d want them.

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The other side of not wearing hearing aids is the conversation missed and lost.

“There was a bad earthquake in Italy. The news was terrible to see,” I said to my mother.

“Yes, I’ll have a cup tea,” was her eager response.

While enjoying the bar on a cruise, I ponder the menu and state, “I’ll have a martini with three olives.”

“Three dollars, what can you get these days for three dollars,” said… Guess who.

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“No mum, I said three olives,” I reply between clenched teeth.

“Three olives for three dollars?” 

I rest my case. Why is it the people who need hearing aids the most refuse to wear them?

The down side, I must admit about the size of the hearing aids is the ease at which they can be lost or misplaced. On one rare occasion I was able to get my mother to wear her hearing aids, she was heading off to bed and removed them, ‘accidentally’ dropping them into her glass of water beside the bed. I say ‘accidentally’ because to this day I cannot be sure it was not done on purpose.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have hearing aids? Share your experience with us.

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