Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. Sadly, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many individuals endure their hearing loss.
But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Important
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 part of your brain responsible for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
Individuals with hearing loss have almost two times as many cases of depression than people who have healthy hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. Separation from friends and family is often the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into melancholy as they stop participating 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 tell you that they are suffering from hearing loss. They might be scared or ashamed. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might have to rely on some of the following clues:
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- Staying away from conversations
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
- Agitation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- Not hearing imperative sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
Watch for for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this discussion may not be easy. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss properly. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve gone over the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that come with untreated hearing loss. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. Your hearing can be damaged by excessively high volumes on the TV and other devices. 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 somebody’s broken into the house.
People engage with others through emotion. Merely listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing assessment. After deciding, make the appointment right away. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. These might occur anywhere in the process. You know this person. What obstacles will they find? Costs? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can use homemade remedies? You recognize “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could do more harm than good.
Be ready with your responses. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. They don’t have to be those listed above word-for-word, but they should speak to your loved one’s doubts.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is not willing to talk, it can be a difficult situation. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?