North Island Midweek

Make Dec. 25 your family’s best Christmas ever

By Martin Jurek


Two years ago, a woman brought her 93-year-old mother into my clinic.

She told me her mother had dementia and that she was going downhill rapidly. As it turns out, however, the woman’s mind was in much better shape than anyone imagined – it was her hearing that had deteriorated.

Because she couldn’t follow conversations easily, she withdrew herself socially.

When asked to respond to something, she would often answer inappropriately because she didn’t understand the question.

After receiving hearing aids and working to rehabilitate her communication skills, this woman who was written off as senile was suddenly the life of the party. It was the greatest gift the entire family could have received.

One in 10 Canadians is living with some degree of hearing loss, yet 80 per cent don’t know it.

If you ever wonder if everyone else finds it as difficult as you do to follow a conversation in a noisy environment, or you get frustrated that your spouse mumbles or speaks too quietly, you could be one of them.

While your hearing loss may not bother you (you might not even know it’s a problem), it’s almost certainly affecting those around you.

Think about the holidays – often a time for families and friends to gather for loud, boisterous celebrations. For those with hearing loss, conversations in these conditions can be exhausting. So they retreat inward, away from such settings.

Think of a free hearing assessment as a gift to yourself, in that perhaps you’ll be able to enjoy the laughter of your grandchildren without searching for an exit.

Better yet, it’s a gift to your family – just as it was to the grateful woman mentioned above, who was finally given her mother back.

Happy holidays!


Martin Jurek is a Registered Hearing Instrument Practitioner and co-owner of Campbell River Hearing Clinic with his wife Jana. To learn more, visit or call 250-914-3200.

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