A friend told me a story about a “stubborn” father.  This friend, let’s call her Anne, was invited to a Christmas lunch.   There were about 30 family and friends at the lunch, including the older parents of the host of the party and all their middle-age children. As the lunch progressed, the children started complaining about how stubborn their father was and how he wasn’t listening to anything they said.  Anne, who has known me for many years, said she could “tell straight away that the father had trouble hearing”.  She was surprised that none of the adult children suspected a hearing loss. They thought he was a stubborn old man choosing not to listen.  Often this stubbornness becomes apparent at times of family get-togethers, like Christmas, and it can be painful to everyone concerned when a parent is resisting any suggestions or advice.  Later in the day, Anne spoke to the son privately and told him about her suspicions and suggested a hearing test.   Sure enough, it turns out the father had a significant hearing loss.

Hearing loss occurs gradually with ageing and because it’s so gradual it can be missed.  Some behaviors that could be due to hearing loss include:

  • stubbornness and not listening
  • dominating a conversation so you don’t need to listen
  • cognitive decline or beginnings of dementia
  • isolating oneself from social events
  • not engaging in conversion and being withdrawn
  • tiredness
  • not participating at family/friend events
  • depression

If a loved one or someone you know is exhibiting these kinds of behaviours, they should have a hearing test.  Hearing loss is common in people over 50. If there is a hearing loss, help is available. Please contact us to arrange a hearing test with one of our audiologists.

Other resources:

Everything You Need To Know About Hearing Loss

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