You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, 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 wearing a hearing aid. Sadly, only about 30% of these individuals actually wear their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many individuals deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Studies have observed that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Depression cases amongst individuals with hearing loss are almost double that of a person with normal hearing. Individuals with worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. The person might begin to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
This, in turn, can lead to relationship strain among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or embarrassment might be an issue for them. They might be in denial. In order to decide when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work might be needed.
Since you are unable to hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use external cues, like:
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Cranking the volume way up on the TV
- Frequent misunderstandings
- New levels of anxiousness in social settings
- Staying away from conversations
Look for these common symptoms and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this conversation may not be easy. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate manner is so significant. The steps will be the basically same even though you may need to modify your language based on your unique 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 concerned. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated risk of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. An excessively loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. Your loved one might not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
People connect with others by using emotion. Merely 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. Do it right away after making the decision. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. These could occur anywhere in the process. You know this individual. What problems will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they considering trying out home remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could cause more harm than good.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. You should speak to your loved one’s concerns but you don’t have to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other 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?