You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to show them? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
Research shows one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is coping with hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.
But spring is right around the corner. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, beginning new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss according to many studies. When the region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have almost two times as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. People who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience agitation and anxiety. Separation from family and friends is frequently the result. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this isolation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. They could be afraid or ashamed. Maybe they’re going through denial. In order to decide when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work might be necessary.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to rely on some of the following clues:
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Frequent misunderstandings
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- New levels of anxiousness in social situations
- Staying away from conversations
- Avoiding busy places
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you don’t hear
Watch for for these common symptoms and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be difficult to have this conversation. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a spouse in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate manner is so important. The steps will be the basically same even though you may 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’re concerned about their health. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that come with untreated hearing loss. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An excessively loud television could harm your hearing. Additionally, research has shown that elevated noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. If somebody has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
People connect with others by using emotion. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment immediately. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These could occur anytime during the process. You know this person. What will they object to? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Are they considering trying home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be prepared with your responses. You could even practice them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is unwilling to talk, it can be a tough 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. Isn’t love all about growing together?