Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.
Research demonstrates one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is suffering from hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, unfortunately.
Neglecting your hearing loss results in difficulty hearing, along with higher dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Many people coping with hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, fresh starts, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the overall brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
Depression rates among individuals with hearing loss are almost twice that of somebody with healthy hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they frequently become stressed and agitated. Isolation from family and friends is often the result. They’re likely to sink deeper into depression as they stop engaging in activities once loved.
This, in turn, can result in strained relationships amongst spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or embarrassment may be an issue for them. They may be in denial. In order to determine when will be the right time to have this discussion, some detective work may be necessary.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to depend on external cues, such as:
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you don’t hear
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- New levels of anxiety in social situations
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Avoiding busy places
- Staying away from conversations
Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be hard to have this talk. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so significant. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: You are worried about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An overly loud TV could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. If somebody has broken into your home, or you call out 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 repercussions.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any point during the process, they may have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What will they object to? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be ready with your answers. Perhaps you practice them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s concerns but you don’t need 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 consider it. But by having this talk, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?