You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Studies reveal millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss. Sadly, only around 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.
This inaction results in problems hearing, as well as increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But it’s almost springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to many studies. A cascade effect that eventually affects the overall brain can be triggered when there’s decreased activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have nearly twice as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. People who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience agitation and anxiety. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the result. They’re likely to sink deeper into melancholy as they stop engaging in activities once loved.
This, in turn, can lead to strained relationships among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this person’s life.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not be ready to reveal that they are experiencing hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be a problem for them. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.
Since you can’t hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to rely on external cues, like:
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Avoiding conversations
- Cranking the volume way up on the TV
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you can’t hear
- Staying away from busy places
- Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- New levels of anxiousness in social situations
Look for these common signs and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this discussion may not be easy. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a spouse in denial. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss properly. 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: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that come with untreated hearing loss. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An excessively loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises 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. 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 assessment. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. These could occur anytime during the process. You know this person. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? You know “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. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should answer your loved one’s doubts.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is reluctant to talk, it can be a tough situation. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?