Father’s Day is a great time to think about the crucial role that dads play in the lives of their children and grandchildren. So, before reaching for this year’s tie, hand-tool, or trinket, how about a gift that will really strengthen the connection between you and your father — the gift of better hearing?
While it may sound unusual, there’s probably no better gift for a dad with an untreated hearing loss than one of the new, digitally-advanced, and remarkably small hearing devices. “Think of it as the world’s smallest power tool,” said Sergei Kochkin, Ph.D., executive director of the Better Hearing Institute. “Today’s hearing devices can amp-up your dad’s hearing and strengthen his ability to communicate clearly and easily with his family.”
Hearing loss is not uncommon among baby boomers and their parents; however, it often goes untreated. According to the Better Hearing Institute:
- The majority (60%) of people with hearing loss are men.
- 15% of “baby-boomers” (ages 45-64) have hearing loss.
- Nearly one in three people over age 65 have a hearing loss.
And research has found that untreated hearing loss often leads to considerable negative social, psychological, cognitive and health effects that go well beyond hearing alone. It can make family time far more difficult and frustrating for your father and for the whole family. Do you think your dad might have a hearing loss? Ask yourself these questions:
- Does he seem to have trouble hearing on the telephone?
- Is it more difficult for him to follow conversations?
- Does he keep turning up the TV or radio?
- Does he sometimes miss a telephone ring or doorbell?
- Does he seem more irritated or tired at big family gatherings?
- Does he ask for things to be repeated or for people to stop mumbling?
If the answers to some or all of these questions are yes, you’ve probably found it more difficult to relax and have a good conversation with him, enjoy a meal at a noisy restaurant, or just watch television together.
If you think your dad has been having trouble hearing well, why not make an appointment with a hearing health professional? And if you’ve been experiencing some trouble hearing, why not make an appointment for yourself at the same time? Accompanying your dad to his appointment may help make him more open to getting his hearing tested.
“This Father’s Day, give your dad the gift of better hearing, said Kochkin. “Hearing loss can be easily diagnosed and treated. Do it for your dad.”
Adapted from the Better Hearing Institute.