You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research reveals 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 individuals actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
This inaction leads to problems hearing, along with higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Studies have revealed that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can start a cascade effect that can impact your overall brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Depression rates among people with hearing loss are nearly twice that of an individual with normal hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The individual may start to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop engaging 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 think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. Fear or shame could be a problem for them. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. In order to decide when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to use outward cues, like:
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Irritation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- Avoiding conversations
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you don’t hear
- Not hearing important 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 conversation with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It may be hard to have this conversation. A spouse in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss correctly. You might need to adjust your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You’re concerned about their health. You’ve gone over the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in an elevated risk of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An overly loud TV could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds 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 engage with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than merely listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing assessment. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These could occur anywhere in the process. This is someone you know well. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter replies. You might even practice them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is not willing 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?