Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
Studies reveal millions of people would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
Neglecting your hearing loss leads to problems hearing, as well as increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Studies have observed that an individual with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less engaged, it can initiate a cascade effect that can impact your overall brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.
Depression rates amongst individuals with hearing loss are almost double that of an individual with healthy hearing. Individuals who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. The individual may begin to seclude themselves from family and friends. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of sadness.
This, in turn, can result in relationship strain amongst spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this person’s life.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They may be nervous or embarrassed. They might be in denial. In order to decide when will be the appropriate time to have this discussion, some detective work might be needed.
Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to use external cues, such as:
- Watching TV with the volume really high
- Staying away from conversations
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- Agitation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
- Frequent misunderstandings
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you detect any of these common signs.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation might not be easy. A partner in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so important. You might need to adjust your language based on your individual relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Make them aware that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can cause a higher chance of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. Your hearing can be damaged by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some research. If someone has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.
Emotion is a key part of robust communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing test. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might occur anytime during the process. You know this person. What problems will they find? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? You recognize “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.
Be ready with your answers. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. You should speak to your loved one’s concerns but you don’t need to follow this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to discuss it. But by having this discussion, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Isn’t love all about growing together?