You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Studies reveal millions of individuals 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. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, unfortunately.
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 spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing closer. Talking frankly 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 many studies. A cascade effect that eventually affects the overall brain can be triggered when there’s reduced activity in the region of your brain responsible for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
People with hearing loss have almost two times as many cases of depression than individuals who have normal hearing. People who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience agitation and anxiety. Isolation from friends and family is frequently the result. They’re prone 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 often the result of this isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be nervous or embarrassed. They may be in denial. You may need to do a little detective work to determine when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to rely on some of the following indicators:
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Staying away from conversations
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else hears
- Cranking the volume way up on the TV
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- Important sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Agitation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
Plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you observe any of these common symptoms.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this discussion might not be easy. A partner in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss correctly. You may need to modify your language based on your unique 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 neglected hearing loss can result in an elevated risk of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An excessively loud television could harm your hearing. In addition, research has shown that elevated noise can cause anxiety, which might impact your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or someone’s broken into the house.
Emotion is a key part of robust communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than merely listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to have a hearing test. Do it immediately after making the decision. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point during the process, they might have these objections. This is someone you know well. What problems will they find? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? 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 practice them beforehand. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is unwilling to talk, it can be a difficult situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?
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