Delightful and energetic, 89-year-old Alma Hodge from Sydney’s south, recently opened her home to allow a glimpse of her life in the house she and her late husband built 50 years ago and where they raised their two sons.
The home, like Alma, is neat as a pin and well preserved with pristine family photos lining the walls.
Our mission was to talk to Alma about the brave and relatively uncommon step she took to improve her hearing ability and maintain a good quality of life. Seven years ago, at age 82, the hearing aid in Alma’s right ear was no longer doing enough and she found herself starting to withdraw from activities and was feeling frustrated with asking people to repeat themselves.
“You get tired of saying ‘What’d you say? What did you say?’ I thought my son might hang up the phone on me it was getting so annoying,” said Alma.
It was her long-term audiologist Emma Scanlan from Australian hearing who suggested Alma consider having a cochlear implant in her right ear – something Alma admits she had not heard of. The surgery went well and Emma felt privileged to be part of Alma’s story and comments on her bravery:
“Some might consider having surgery at age 82 to be something of a risk but Alma took it in her stride and has enjoyed the benefits of improved hearing ever since. She is very involved in her church, visits her family regularly and takes exercise classes and does these things largely because she does so well with her hearing,” said Emma.
Now 89 and managing to keep up a busy lifestyle, Alma encourages others to take action so they can participate fully in their own lives. Loss of hearing can be very isolating at any age but seniors can be more likely to withdraw socially because they fear nothing can be done and they are tired of trying to hear.
Living proof that there is much to be gained from being brave and not giving up on doing the things you enjoy, Alma hopes that others will follow her lead and take the attitude that it is never too late.
Alma has been a client of Australian Hearing for over 25 years and has worked with our Adult Specialist audiologists that not only manage her hearing loss but also foster strong relationships with the whole person, beyond the ears.
To learn more about the Specialist Services Australian Hearing provides, click here.