GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 31

His relationship with Brandon was even affected. As a deaf person, Brandon had developed a highly tuned ability to read emotions and facial expressions. He recognized frustration and distraction in Allan, but he did not interpret these emotions correctly. He, like Brittany, felt his grandfather did not care to be around him, and so he, too, began to withdraw from my husband. Allan was exhibiting other signs of hearing loss as well as putting off his grandchildren. At times, he did not respond appropriately to questions. He showed up late for meetings or showed up at the wrong place. He no longer enjoyed outings where there might be loud background noise. But the most serious consequence was that the beauty of his relationship with his grandkids, the characteristic that first kindled my love for him, was in jeopardy. I felt helpless as the bond deteriorated, and I worried that these were perhaps the first signs of early dementia. It was time to discuss the problem openly. A hearing test confirmed my suspicions. Allan’s hearing loss was mostly at the level of the “normal” human voice—at a decibel level somewhat lower than the average voices of women and children. We were given suggestions as to how to modify our behavior to enhance Allan’s ability to hear. Brittany probably had the biggest adjustment to make, as she was now a bubbly, socially active tween. In time, she learned to slow her speech and to face Allan when talking to him in the car instead of gazing out the window. She learned to turn the radio off when she wanted to talk. (Talking on the phone was no longer an issue: She was so past long telephone calls to her grandparents.) When we visited, the children learned to turn off the television, lower the music and take turns talking rather than having free-for-alls. If we had to repeat things to Allan, we learned to try different words. When we went to a restaurant, we sat farthest away from noisy customers and preferably by a window or bright lighting so he could see our mouths. We were conscious of not covering our mouths or talking with our mouths full. We stopped assuming and questioned first. My further study into alternative medicine uncovered herbs and supplements  that are known to improve some hearing loss . At first, Allan’s hearing loss was diagnosed as not severe enough to need devices such as hearing aids, or special phones or alerts (e.g., alarm clocks and doorbells). Later, he had a special amplifying device made to wear with his hard hat at work. It improved his hearing to such a degree he was far less stressed at work. This success eventually wore out his reluctance (and fear of the “stigma”) to invest in a hearing aid. Allan’s loss of hearing changed the dynamics of our family, but what seemed, at first, to be a loss of closeness with the grandchildren proved to be a positive experience: We took the journey with him, learned to be more considerate and developed relationships deeper in respect, understanding and patience. G He began to complain that his granddaughter was mumbling. CrisP PiCks: Editor’s ChoiCE A wide variety of experiences, products, warnings, symptoms and solutions can be found in the many blogs written about hearing loss. A good sampling can be found on WordPress.com . Example: “Let’s hope the baby boomers will drop the vanity, refuse to pay $3,000 for the best hearing aid on the market, and [start advocating] for…rights to hearing that doesn’t cost us our life savings.” Click and connect to more resources instantly where you see this symbol:  JULY 2009 GRAND 31
http://www.raysahelian.com/hearing.html http://www.healthcareherb.com/hearingaidchi.html http://www.WordPress.com http://en.wordpress.com/tag/hearing-aids/

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of GRAND Magazine - July 2009

GRAND Magazine - July 2009
GRAND View
Contents
GRAND Central
Grands Across the Sea
O, Say, Can You Sing?
Hear and Now
Ask GRAND
GRAND’s 2009 Sexiest Granddads
Nailing It
Reader's Write
Resources
GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - intro
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - GRAND Magazine - July 2009
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Cover2
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 3
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Contents
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 5
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 6
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 7
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 8
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 9
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 10
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 11
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 12
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - GRAND Central
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 14
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 15
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 16
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 17
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 18
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 19
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 20
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 21
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Grands Across the Sea
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 23
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 24
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 25
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 26
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 27
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - O, Say, Can You Sing?
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 29
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Hear and Now
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 31
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Ask GRAND
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 33
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - GRAND’s 2009 Sexiest Granddads
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 35
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 36
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 37
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 38
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 39
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 40
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 41
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Nailing It
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 43
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 44
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 45
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Reader's Write
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 47
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 48
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 49
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 50
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 51
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 52
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Resources
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - GRAND Finale
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - 55
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Cover3
GRAND Magazine - July 2009 - Cover4
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