My father is going deaf, but will not have a hearing test The TV presenter and comedian Graham Norton advises readers


Graham Advises



Dear Graham

My father is becoming increasingly hard of hearing, but he is a very stubborn alpha male and suggestions that he get a hearing test fall on deaf ears.

He was always rude and impatient with his own parents if they failed to wear their hearing aids, and doesn’t seem to see the irony in following in their footsteps.

He has to have the television so loud that nobody else in the house can sleep. He looks bored and miserable when other people are talking as he can’t join in. We speak to him loudly and slowly, but even then are berated for ”muttering’’. I feel especially sorry for my mother, who has to spend all her time shouting and being shouted at.

He is comfortably off so could afford the best, most discreet hearing aid available, if only he would consider the idea. I don’t know if it’s possible to buy them as gifts, but even if we did, I think it would take a lightning bolt of realisation for him to try them. Kate W, Bristol

Dear Kate

Please believe me when I tell you that I do understand your frustration, but whatever

you and your mother are going through is nothing compared to what is happening to your father.

He must know he is going deaf, but for whatever reason he isn’t ready to admit it yet. I imagine it’s because if he accepts his loss of hearing he has to acknowledge his age and the various indignities that come with it. He must remember what his own parents suffered and understandably isn’t ready to join that club just yet. Give him time to acknowledge it. Nobody gets glasses when they need them, they buy them to cure blinding headaches or after walking into a wall.

Provide him with the phone numbers, leaflets and websites he needs and then let him decide when the time is right. He may not be able to hear what you are saying, but nor can you feel what he is feeling.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s