Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Research reveals one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is suffering from hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.
But it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing closer. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a good 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 ultimately impacts the overall brain can be triggered when there’s decreased activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
People with hearing loss have almost twice as many cases of depression than people who have normal hearing. Individuals who have worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the result. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be afraid or embarrassed. Perhaps they’re going through denial. In order to decide when will be the best 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 depend on external cues, like:
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- Irritation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously noticed
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Avoiding conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
- Avoiding busy places
Look for these common signs and plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It may be hard to have this talk. A spouse in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss appropriately. The steps will be the basically same although you may need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can result in an increased chance of dementia and depression. 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. Additionally, studies show that elevated noise can cause anxiety, which may effect your relationship. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
People connect with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to get a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment immediately. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any time in the process, they could have these objections. You know this individual. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? Do they think they can use homemade remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be ready with your responses. You could even practice them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need 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 consider it. But by having this talk, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?