I am noticing in my conversations with couples that one of the two of them will tell me in confidence, “He’s losing his hearing but won’t get it tested” or “She’s starting to mumble all the time”. Or “I have stopped asking him to open jars, he can’t do it either!” Other topics:
- time to stop climbing ladder
- driving is becoming dangerous/risky
- little things are getting forgotten
- using power tools is more difficult
- the laundry basket suddenly feels really heavy
- The heavy wet laundry is awkward to move from washer to dryer
- getting the skillet from the bottom shelf is daunting
- tech is overwhelming, using/learning apps is really a chore!
- back hurts a lot after a long drive
All these things may or may not get expressed to a partner. Somehow saying it out loud makes it more real and more daunting and you don’t want to hurt you partner’s feelings or ego. None of this is fun!
So as you navigate these issues use diplomacy, maybe tell a story about another couple’s challenges and solutions, or just rip the band-aid off and say “Let’s talk about how to plan for our most fragile years”.
Whatever you do, don’t shame, belittle or even tease about these sensitive subjects unless your partner has amazing self esteem and together you joke often about frailties!
But if someone accuses you or your TV of mumbling, they need a hearing test! That’s how it starts.