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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Hear Ye, Hear Ye /  Editorial List  

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Hear Ye, Hear Ye

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The May/June issue of Today’s Caregiver magazine will cover one of the most important issues we face as family caregivers – hearing loss and the reluctance to admit that hearing loss exists when we are faced with it.  Don’t look so smug. I am talking about us as much as I am talking about those for whom we care.  It is really befuddling since we easily accept glasses and contact lenses and will use mobility equipment when necessary. About the time I usually think that everyone around me has lost their ability to speak clearly, I find myself in an audiologist’s office literally “getting the wax out” and suddenly everyone seems to be speaking better.

This past holiday season, we ran a special Board of Directors communique on hearing loss since I call it “the gateway to family involvement.” Your relatives who live across the nation may not know that Mom or Dad can no longer drive safely or is wandering, but they sure know they cannot understand what is being said to them in a telephone call.

In the upcoming issue of the magazine is an interview with Michael Malusevic, the Executive Director of the American Tinnitus Association, about this condition that affects many more of us than those who spent their misbegotten youth at rock concerts. (Ok, you got me.) We will also be talking with experts at the VA about the challenges that veterans face, and how to have the hearing loss conversation with your loved ones.

When caring for my grandfather late in the last century, one of the greatest challenges we faced had to do with the intersection of his increased hearing loss and, frankly, his vanity.  A member of the last generation of true gentlemen, he would never hesitate to kiss a woman’s hand when she entered a room, would never be seen without wearing at least his sports jacket, and he absolutely would not consent to using hearing aids. This made us extremely concerned about his safety if ever a fire or other emergency should strike his apartment while he was alone.

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