Self-assessment tools have proven to be useful in everyday practice in the audiology field, mostly in developed countries. There is a lack of such tests in Spanish. Our objective was to construct an inventory that could help us to identify elderly non-institutionalized patients who need an audiological assessment; we did not intend to identify or qualify emotional or social/situational reactions towards hearing handicap. As a prototype we initially translated, adapted and standardized the Hearing Handicap Inventory for the Elderly. This questionnaire was given to 60 elderly subjects. The performance on each question was compared with the audiometric results. After selecting useful and suitable questions, modifying some others and eliminating those with a poor performance, a new inventory in Spanish was developed. This final version was then tested in 63 elderly subjects. Very good scores were obtained for each question. An 'easy-to-use' rule is proposed in order to identify those patients who need to be audiologically tested. A brief meta-linguistic analysis is made on semantic and cultural factors that contributed to good translation and cultural adaptation.