You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
Research shows one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is enduring hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. Regrettably, only about 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.
This inaction results in problems hearing, in addition to increased dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, starting new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. When the region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
People with hearing loss have nearly two times as many cases of depression than individuals who have normal hearing. Individuals who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from friends and family is often the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop participating in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. Fear or embarrassment might be an issue for them. They could be in denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.
Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on external cues, such as:
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Agitation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously noticed
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else hears
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Staying away from conversations
- Not hearing imperative sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
Plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this conversation might not be easy. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so significant. You might need to adjust your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.
Step 1: Make them aware that you value your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that accompany neglected hearing loss. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An overly loud television could damage your hearing. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
Emotion is a key part of effective communication. Merely listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point in the process, they might have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you rehearse them ahead of time. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should answer your loved one’s doubts.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Isn’t love all about growing together?