“Come here! Come here! Come here!” my Mother yelled from over by the garage as I was coming home from school. “Look at these garage doors that your father had installed today.” She pushed the clicker and the door went up, grinding, and jerked as it reached the top. She pushed the clicker again, and the door grinding, slowing closed and clunked as the top section secured against the frame.
She smiled at me.
“Cool.” I said.
“Wait till you see this,” she said as she walked toward the house, “you don’t even have to be near the garage.” From inside the house she showed me where they would live out their button-pushing-lives, and pushed the button one more time. “Now take out the garbage please.” I rolled my eyes. Yay! Now I get to take the garbage out with style.
She still has those clickers today, and they still serve her well. They really don’t click. In her day, any kind of remote would click… hence her name for them. It is technology with which she is comfortable. It is old and reliable…”Just like me.” she says. Other, newer technology is overwhelming to her and she hands me the controls because she doesn’t understand it. “You are just better at those kinds of things.”
I have learned how to use the technology how to help her with her hearing loss. Like when she misses something on one of her favorite T.V. shows. I stop the DVR and rewind it so that she can catch up. I help her with her cellular phone so that she can communicate with my sister and brother. Her trouble with new technology is not a problem because she has someone who cares, and that can walk her through it. The world just got faster, and she feels as though it passed her by. I am just the person so that she doesn’t feel so overwhelmed.
I learned these skills by watching our audiologists at Family Hearing and Balance Center, and Cardinal Hearing Center work with cutting edge technology, and make it understandable. Hearing technology is small, and complicated. It can connect to T.V.’s, cellphones, and talk to you to tell you your battery is low. It can be overwhelming. But, time after time I witness patient consideration for the 90 year old who doesn’t understand how the devices connect with the television with out a wire. To make that understandable and usable is what the audiologist does. It is what we do as a practice.
I used to roll my eyes at my Mom when she didn’t get the technology, or when she was overly impressed with it, like the garage doors. I have taken what I have learned into my private life, and I don’t roll my eyes any more. Our audiologist won’t roll their eyes either. If they do, let me know and I will sick my Mom on them, and nobody wants that.