“There’s nothing better than a kid’s voice” said Julian Mojica Sr. with tears welling up in his eyes and his voice quavering. Mojica Sr., now 91 years old, has had significant trouble with his hearing for a long time.
Born in 1931 in Kyle, Texas, just miles outside of Austin, Julian Sr. worked as a diesel mechanic for most of his life before retiring in 1988. He has over 30 beautiful grandchildren and would often enjoy fishing, cooking his famous barbeque sandwiches and watching television with his family.
His son, Julian Mojica Jr. was his best friend and primary caregiver until 2021, when he unexpectedly passed away at the age of 65. Julian’s youngest daughter, Ruby Mojica took over his care after Julian Jr. passed away. She has worked as a housekeeper at Edmond Health Care Center for about seven years, and in November 2021, decided to move her father to the Edmond HCC community so that he could receive the top quality healthcare he deserved. “I’m so glad he is here where I work” Ruby said.
Julian Sr. is completely deaf in his right ear and has tremendous difficulty hearing out of his left. As the regular housekeeper on her father’s hall, Ruby said she would often have to speak loudly to get her father’s attention. She explained that it may have seemed to others that she was scolding him, however, he just wasn’t able to hear her very well. Regional Nurse at Voyage Long Term Care, Rochelle Malone, echoed Miss Mojica’s comments, while also adding that Julian Sr.'s basic functions of daily living were greatly affected by his inability to hear.
About Hearing Loss
Hearing loss affects numerous people across the globe and can be caused by a variety of factors including consistently being around loud noises, earwax and fluid buildup, heredity, a punctured eardrum or other health conditions. Health conditions that may lead to hearing loss include but are not limited to diabetes, high blood pressure, viruses, bacteria, various heart conditions, stroke, brain injury, and tumors.
There are two types of hearing loss: Sensorineural and Conductive. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear of the auditory nerve and is usually permanent. Conductive hearing loss occurs when sound waves cannot reach the inner ear, but this type can typically be treated medically or fixed with surgery.
Some signs of hearing loss may include trouble hearing on the phone, difficulty following conversations when two or more people are talking, asking people to repeat themselves often, needing to turn up the volume of the TV so loud that others complain, thinking that others mumble, and having trouble understanding when women or children are speaking to them.
In an article written by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), it is stated that nearly 50% of people over the age of 75 have reported some difficulty hearing, and that for those who suffer from hearing loss, frustration may occur during basic everyday functions. Miss Mojica agreed that there has been some frustration due to her father’s hearing limitations. Because of those limitations and other difficulties, Miss Malone and the Voyage Long Term Care leadership agreed that something needed to be done for Mr. Mojica.
“I knew that he couldn’t afford hearing aids, so I suggested amplifiers since they are typically much cheaper” explained Malone. The scene when the amplifiers were put on Julian Sr.'s ears for the first time was both exciting and highly emotional. Once they were on, Ruby asked Julian Sr. “Daddy, can you hear me?”, to which he immediately responded “Yes!” “I started crying, and then he started crying because he could hear me, he hasn’t been able to do that in so long” she said with her voice wavering. Malone remembers Julian Sr. looking at the team members around the room and saying “Yes, I can hear you!”
Television has always been one of Julian Sr.'s favorite things, and that has not changed since moving into the Edmond Health Care Center community. He frequently has the MeTV channel on playing various westerns, the Three Stooges, and the Walton’s. He also makes it a point on Sunday's to watch his favorite NFL team, the Dallas Cowboys. Ever since Julian Sr. received his amplifiers, he has been able to listen to the TV at regular volume. “Now he doesn’t have to have the TV up so loud” Ruby said jokingly.
Nurses and other team members at Edmond Health Care Center regularly say that Julian Sr. is the happiest, sweetest and most polite resident around. The team at Edmond is very happy to have him in the community and he is more than happy to be there too. “He’s very happy and I can tell he’s happy” said Ruby with a big smile. These amplifiers have changed the life of Julian Mojica Sr. for the better, with Ruby saying “It’s a whole different world now".
At Voyage Long Term Care, we acknowledge and accept that our purpose is to serve, to love, to care, and to heal, and take great pride in the fact that we can help make our resident’s lives better.
To learn more about the signs and symptoms of hearing loss, visit the NIH website here: https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults