Want to show how much you care? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
According to research, millions of people would benefit from using hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. But only 30% of those people actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy 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.
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. When the region of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.
Depression rates amongst those with hearing loss are almost double that of someone with healthy hearing. People who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. The person may begin to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
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 suffering from hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be a problem for them. They may be in denial. In order to determine when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.
Since you are unable to hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use outward cues, including:
- Irritation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously seen
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Avoiding busy places
- Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Staying away from conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else hears
Look for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be difficult to have this discussion. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss properly. You might need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can cause an increased chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. Your loved one may not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or somebody’s broken into the house.
Emotion is an essential part of effective communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than merely listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing test. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. At any point in the process, they may have these objections. You know this person. What will they object to? Costs? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be ready with your answers. You might even practice them in the mirror. You should address your loved one’s concerns but you don’t need to adhere to 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 need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?