Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Studies reveal millions of people would benefit from using hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. Regrettably, only around 30% of these individuals actually wear their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s almost springtime. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing together. Talking candidly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Important
Studies have revealed that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that eventually affects the entire brain can be triggered when there’s decreased activity in the part of your brain used for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.
Depression cases among those with hearing loss are almost double that of someone with normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The person may start to seclude themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of sadness.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to reveal that they are suffering from hearing loss. They could be afraid or ashamed. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to depend on external cues, including:
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- Staying away from conversations
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- essential sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Irritation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously observed
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
Watch for for these common signs and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It may be difficult to have this discussion. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss properly. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to modify your language based on your unique relationship.
Step 1: Make them understand that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause a higher chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. An overly loud television could harm your hearing. In addition, studies show that loud noise can create anxiety, which might impact your relationship. If someone has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is an essential part of robust communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing exam. Do it immediately after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. These might happen anytime during the process. You know this person. What issues will they find? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could do more harm than good.
Prepare your counter responses. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to follow this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is reluctant to talk, it can be a tricky situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?