Sunday, January 06, 2008

Deaf Denial

My dad is 75 years old and he is going deaf. His hearing has been getting worse for a couple of years. It started out as not being able to have a conversation with him at a restaurant. Now, it has gotten so bad that he has trouble in a perfectly quiet room with you just 3 feet away.

The most difficult part is that he is in complete denial and likes to fake that he hears you. It makes holding a conversation a convoluted exercise for other family members as we try to figure out how his response fits into what we just said. For example, I was mentioning how great it is to have the Burlington mall so close to me and his response had to do with weather patterns (how Boston and south mostly get rain). I have no idea what he thought I said. When I try to call attention to his hearing problems he blames the speaker. I speak too softly. Or the waitress didn't ask him the question he expected.

Is there such a thing as having an intervention for someone going deaf?


Jeff said...

What did you say?

I'm totally in the same boat with you, but my father seems to hear a little bit better than yours.

He's still in total denial, but I don't know if an intervention is needed or if you can just trick him into going to the Dr.'s office.

One day just say to him that you're going out to eat. Say it clearly and loud. Then, when you have him in the car take him to the audiologist.

When he protests, tell him you told him that you were taking him to test his hearing and you thought he heard you because he nodded affirmatively and jumped in the car.

Good luck.


AnnaB said...

My plan is to start mouthing sentences around him until he starts to panic, throwing him in the car and seeing a local audiologist.

My mom is no help either. She insists that he just needs to clean his ears.