Ask Tia Juana

     Tia Juana will cheerfully provide advice for anyone that asks.  Just mail your questions to “Ask Tia Juana” at PO Box 8, Van Horn, Texas 79855.  All questions will remain anonymous unless there is a chance for extortion.  Disclaimer:  Tia Juana is not a licensed counselor or therapist and none of the advice should be considered professional.

Dear Tia,

I live about a thousand miles from my elderly mother, and I try to call her daily.  The problem is that she is deaf as a post, and every phone call ends with a sore throat from me yelling the whole conversation.  She swears it is her phone, but the entire family knows better, and she refuses to admit that she is deaf.  At this point, I dread calling her because I know that she will not understand 90% of what I tell her, and the other 10% will be wrong information.  How can I convince my mother that she is hard of hearing and that her problem is not the phone, without her disowning me?

Could you repeat that?

Dear Could,

Obviously, your mother is not growing old graciously, and does not want to be reminded that little by little, normal body functions are failing.  Do not just yell at her and just state the obvious…that she’s deaf, she knows that.  Tell her that you want her to be able to participate in all the conversations around her so that she doesn’t feel left out, and offer to taker her to an ENT for a complete exam.  In many times, hearing loss may be nothing more than wax impacting her ear canal, and is an easy fix.  Once anything medical has been ruled out, you can have the doctor suggest a hearing test, which can confirm what you already know…that she’s DEAF!  Have her try some sample hearing aids and let her hear what she’s been missing. Good luck!


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