We all probably know someone who asks for repetition more often than usual, probably someone in their 60s or 70s; maybe your mother or grandfather. You have probably dutifully repeated your words more loudly and followed up by asking “Have you considered hearing aids?”

Well, that’s the type of person to whom you could give a tremendous free gift — the gift of hearing everything clearly. All you have to do is speak up, just a little. That person probably has a mild hearing loss. They probably really will need a hearing aid in five or 10 years. You could save them a lot of expense and hassle in the meantime just by speaking a little louder.

My mother had a mild hearing loss. I was her favorite child because she could understand me. I spoke just a little louder when I was in her presence. She loved it. Whenever my sisters spoke in their normal voices, it forced my mother to ask for repetition. They would then shout. My mother hated that, so she stopped asking them for repetition. She felt “out of it.” She resented my sisters’ lack of consideration.

Don’t be inconsiderate. When you are in the presence of someone above 60 or someone you know hears poorly, speak just a little louder. Don’t shout. Just speak up a little. Oldsters will love you.

I should know; I am one of them.

Ben Lounsbury, Auburn


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