Q: I am my dad’s caregiver. He is not very talkative, and when I talk to him I am never sure he hears me since he rarely makes comments. What can I do to improve communication with him?
A: Communication is vital especially when a caregiver is trying to give instructions about medications, appointments or information for making important decisions.
Many older people experience progressive hearing loss. An estimated 60 percent of Americans older than 65 have hearing impairment, with men experiencing hearing loss more than women.
If you think your father may have hearing loss, be alert to his actions when speaking to him. Signs that could indicate a problem including bending the head toward the speaker when trying to hear, lack of expression when listening, inappropriate responses to questions and inattentiveness.
When talking with your father, screen out background noise when possible. Turn off TVs, radios and air conditioners, and close windows and doors.
Also, sit facing him with the light shining toward you so he can see your face for visual clues. This is helpful for lip reading which is done by most of us, hearing-impaired or not, during conversations. Make sure you have your father’s attention before you start your conversation.
When you talk, speak clearly but do not overarticulate. Speak in a low pitch at a moderate speed. Do not drop your volume at the end of a sentence.
Ask your father to repeat the important parts of your conversation rather than asking him whether he understood what you said. Any misunderstanding can be corrected at the time of the conversation rather than later, when it may be too late.
Q: I am looking for something unusual to do but want my money I to go to a good cause. Any suggestions?
A: The Goebel Senior Adult Center Commission is presenting a new and expanded antiques bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 27 at the center, at 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.
The event will feature extended hours, more evaluators and an international snack bar.
Do you have a family heirloom whose value you don’t know? Is it an antique? Do you have questions about a collectible? Evaluations by experts are $5 per evaluation.
Are you looking for a special item to add to your collection? One of the many antiques and collectibles vendors may have what you want.
A highlight of the event will be the Stage Coach Inn Museum’s presentation of a few items from its collection.
Perhaps while you are reviewing the treasures you will get hungry. A snack bar will have Argentine empanadas and salad, French quiche Lorraine and American hot dogs with numerous toppings.
The commission will receive the proceeds of the event and use them for programs that benefit seniors.
Admission is $5. For more information, call the center at 381-2744.