You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
Studies reveal millions of people would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.
But spring is right around the corner. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, beginning new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a good way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the overall brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
People with hearing loss have nearly twice as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become stressed and agitated. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the result. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to reveal that they are experiencing hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be a problem for them. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the right time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use external cues, like:
- New levels of anxiety in social settings
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
- Frequent misunderstandings
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Staying away from conversations
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you detect any of these common signs.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It may be hard to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so significant. You may need to modify your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can lead to a higher risk of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An overly loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. Your loved one may not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
Emotion is an essential part of effective communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. Do it right away after making the decision. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These could occur anytime during the process. This is someone you know well. What will they object to? Costs? Time? Do they not see a problem? Are they considering trying out home remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could cause more harm than good.
Be prepared with your responses. Maybe you rehearse them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to follow this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But by having this conversation, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?