Trust Nana's Advice

by Kate Carr, HIA President

December 14, 2023


This Christmas is going to be so much better for Isabel, AKA “Nana”, my friend Will’s grandmother who is 99 years old. She lives in Florida in an assisted living community nearby two of her daughters. She is vibrant, in pretty good health, and a few months ago, she went for a hearing test at the advice of her primary care doctor. She left the appointment with hearing aids. And this Christmas, when the family gets together, she will be hearing the conversations and actively participating.


I was fortunate to have a call with Nana recently to talk about how she is doing and what made her decide to take this step. What a fun call it was. I learned about her life. She was married for 35 years until her husband died. Together, they had four children and she now is a proud grandmother of 12 and great-grandmother of 14, with a newborn on the way. She worked as a legal secretary until she was 65 and, as she pointed out, you had to be pretty sharp with shorthand and typing to be successful in this field back in the day!


As she got older, she heard friends with hearing aids complaining. “My hearing aids are in the drawer since they don’t work”, they would say, or “my hearing is pretty good” even when they asked “what did you say” many times. She was convinced that hearing aids wouldn’t help, so she struggled to keep up. She admitted that when she couldn’t hear, she just gave up on the dialogue.


That is until her primary doctor spoke to her about the value of life, what she was missing, and suggested that she get her hearing tested.  With the assistance of her daughters, an appointment was immediately made for a hearing test. The day of the hearing test, she left with her new hearing aids.


When I asked her about the first thing she noticed after getting the hearing aids, she told me that she could once again hear people around her, at her dinner table and even the next dinner table. She could hear dogs barking and the birds singing. While she still has a little struggle hearing one of her great-grandchildren, she is sorry she waited so long to do something about her hearing difficulty.


So this Christmas, I’m offering a little advice directly from Nana.


“If you are having problems hearing, go and get your hearing tested. And if you need hearing aids, get them. They are worth it. You won’t have to worry about putting in batteries as they are rechargeable. Don’t be stubborn. Hearing difficulty doesn’t have to be a part of old age.”


Merry Christmas, Nana. I’m so glad that your quality of life has improved. And hopefully your story will inspire others to follow your advice.


Blessings to all!

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