Want to show how much you care? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research reveals one out of three adults between 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. Sadly, only around 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.
Neglecting your hearing loss leads to difficulty hearing, as well as increased dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Suffering in silence is how many individuals deal with their hearing loss.
But spring is right around the corner. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, starting 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”
Studies have observed that an individual with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that ultimately affects the overall brain can be initiated when there’s decreased activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Depression rates among individuals with hearing loss are almost double that of somebody with healthy hearing. Individuals with deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Separation from family and friends is frequently the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop engaging in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not be ready to reveal that they are developing hearing loss. They might be scared or ashamed. Maybe they’re going through denial. You may need to do some detective work to decide when it’s time to have the conversation.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may need to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Staying away from conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- New levels of anxiety in social situations
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you observe any of these common symptoms.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be hard to have this conversation. A partner in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so important. 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: You are concerned about their health. You’ve gone over the studies. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that accompany untreated hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. If somebody has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.
People engage with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than just listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point during the process, they could have these objections. You know this person. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a 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 may even practice them in the mirror. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to use this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?