You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.
Research shows one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is suffering from hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
Neglecting your hearing loss leads to difficulty hearing, along with increased dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.
But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.
It’s Necessary 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 region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less active, it can begin a cascade effect that can affect your overall brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have nearly twice as many cases of depression than people who have healthy hearing. People who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. The person might begin to seclude themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to fall deeper into melancholy as they stop participating in activities once loved.
This, in turn, can result in strained relationships among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or embarrassment could be an issue for them. Perhaps they’re dealing with 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 might have to rely on some of the following indicators:
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Agitation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
- Staying away from busy places
- Staying away from conversations
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you observe any of these common signs.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It may be hard to have this discussion. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss correctly. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to modify your language based on your individual relationship.
Step 1: Make them understand that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: You are worried about their health. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that accompany neglected hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively high volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some research. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
Emotion is an essential part of strong communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to get a hearing exam. After deciding, make the appointment right away. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These might happen anywhere in the process. You know this person. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can use homemade remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could cause more harm than good.
Prepare your counter responses. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to use this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is reluctant to talk, it can be a difficult situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Isn’t love all about growing closer?