Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research shows one in three adults between 65 and 74 is coping with hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, unfortunately.
Neglecting your hearing loss leads to problems hearing, along with increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many people coping with hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
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 ultimately affects the overall brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain used for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.
Depression cases among those with hearing loss are nearly twice that of someone with normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become stressed and agitated. Separation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to let you know that they are suffering from hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment may be a problem for them. Perhaps they’re dealing with denial. You may need to do some detective work to decide when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Since you are unable to hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to rely on external cues, such as:
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, washer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Staying away from busy places
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Staying away from conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
- New levels of anxiousness in social situations
Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you detect any of these common symptoms.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this discussion may not be easy. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so significant. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to modify your language based on your individual relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause a higher chance of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some research. If someone has broken into your home, 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 impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. After deciding, make the appointment right away. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These could occur anywhere in the process. This is somebody you know well. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? 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. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. You should speak to 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 discuss it. But by having this discussion, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Isn’t love all about growing closer?