Are you the main caretaker for somebody older than 70? There’s a lot to take into consideration. Bringing a senior to a cardiologist or setting up an appointment with an oncologist feels like a priority, so you aren’t likely to forget those things. But there are things that are commonly forgotten because they don’t seem like priorities such as the yearly checkup with a hearing specialist. And those small things can make a big difference.
For The Health of a Senior, Hearing is Crucial
More and more published research has echoed one surprising truth: your hearing is vitally important. Beyond the ability to communicate or hear and enjoy music, your hearing plays a vitally significant role. Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are a couple of mental health concerns that have been linked to untreated hearing loss.
So you inadvertently raise Mom’s chance of dementia by skipping her hearing appointment. Mom could start to isolate herself if she isn’t hearing well these days; she has dinner alone in her room, stops going to movies, and doesn’t go out with her friends.
When hearing loss takes hold, this sort of social separation occurs very quickly. So if you notice Mom or Dad starting to become a little distant, it may not be about their mood (yet). Hearing loss might be the problem. And cognitive decline can ultimately be the outcome of that hearing loss (your brain is a very use-it-or-lose-it type of organ). So when it comes to a senior parents mental and physical health, recognizing and dealing with hearing loss is essential.
Making Hearing a Priority
Okay, we’ve convinced you. You’re taking it as a given that hearing is significant and that untreated hearing loss can lead to other problems. How can you make sure ear care is a priority? There are a few things you can do:
- Keep track of when your parents are wearing their hearing aids, and see that it’s every day. In order to ensure the hearing aids are functioning at their optimum capacity, they should be used routinely.
- Anyone above the age of 55 or 60 should be having a hearing screening every year or so. You should help a senior parent make and keep these appointments.
- And if you find a senior spending more time at home, canceling out on friends, and distancing themselves, the same applies. A consultation with us can help illuminate the existence of any hearing issues.
- Be mindful of your parents’ habits. If you observe the tv getting a bit louder every week, speak with Mom about making a consultation with a hearing specialist to see if you can identify a problem.
- Every night before bed, remind your parents to put their hearing aids on the charger (at least in situations where their devices are rechargeable).
How to Reduce Health Problems in The Future
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you most likely have a lot to deal with. And if hearing problems aren’t causing immediate concerns, they could seem somewhat trivial. But there’s rather clear evidence: a multitude of serious health concerns in the future can be avoided by managing hearing loss now.
So you may be avoiding costly health conditions later on in life by taking your loved one to their hearing consultation. Depression could be prevented before it even begins. You may even be able to decrease Mom’s chance of developing dementia in the near-term future.
For the majority of us, that’s worth a trip to a hearing specialist. It’s also extremely helpful to remind Mom to use hear hearing aid more frequently. And when that hearing aid is in, you might just be able to have a pleasant conversation, as well.