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 calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
Research demonstrates one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is coping with hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually wear their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many individuals deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, starting new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Studies have revealed that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can impact your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
People with hearing loss have nearly two times as many instances of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. Individuals with worsening hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the consequence. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They could be scared or embarrassed. They could be in denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work may be necessary.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to rely on external cues, like:
- New levels of anxiety in social situations
- essential sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Staying away from conversations
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you observe any of these common signs.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It might be difficult to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a spouse in denial. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss correctly. You may need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Make them aware that you value your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve gone over the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can lead to a higher chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be damaged by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. Your loved one might not hear you yelling for help if you’ve fallen or someone’s broken into the house.
Emotion is a key part of effective communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing exam. After deciding, make the appointment right away. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. These could happen anywhere in the process. You know this person. What issues will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you rehearse them ahead of time. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have 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 talk, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?