While we aspire to celebrate good times, with stressful things going on in our world, it is normal to experience highs and lows of mood. If someone in your circle of life occasionally feels this way, they are not alone. Sadly, research indicates “the prevalence of depression in patients ages 65 and older may be as high as 40% in hospitalized and 30% in nursing home patients, and 8-15% in community settings (3).
Per the World Health Organization, mental health is a key component in the health and well-being of older adults and refers to the “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.” 1
These worthy goals emphasize the crucial benefits of personal relationships and socialization. Hearing and vision are vital in terms of human connection, as from precious sounds to beautiful sights, life is enriched when experienced to the best of our sensory abilities. With hearing and vision loss both having age related components, proactively taking care of our ears and eyes is truly wise.
Throughout life, especially for Super Seniors in their Golden Years, maintaining control of and independence with activities of daily living stimulates self-confidence and prized mobility. Driving is a classic example, as who wants to have “that conversation” with a loved one? In fact, clues and cues from sights and sounds are necessary to empower us and fellow passengers to go on down the road safely.
While Dual Sensory Loss (DSL) is sometimes self-perceived, other times evidence-based assessments by vision and hearing professionals are catalysts for necessary discovery. Either way, difficulties with sensory functions may lead to challenges navigating surroundings, which can be frustrating and negatively impact one’s happiness quotient.
More should be aware those with hearing and vision challenges have higher incident rates of depressive symptoms than the general population. As peer-reviewed research indicates:
“Most notably, participating levels in socially engaging and mentally stimulating activities fully explained the depressive symptoms experienced by adults with sensory loss.” 2
Stay on the lookout, as there is more acute need for timely intervention when compound effects of sensory deprivation lessen abilities to manage activities of daily living, safely navigate home surroundings or feel self-confident. While precious sights and sounds delight, the converse is also true.
“Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” —Dr. Seuss
With Thanksgiving and the holidays coming soon, be sure to savor beautiful Sights & precious Sounds with your loved ones. It is mentally healthier to listen in rather than miss out, especially with hopes Covid will stay in rear-view mirrors. What sounds of the season do you look forward to experiencing at family gatherings, some nearby and others at distant destinations? By making sensible choices, you will live it up!
By getting your hearing tested regularly, we can be sure your prescriptive solutions are the best fit. When we talk about The Joys of Hearing, it is because your mental well-being, social vitality and hobby enjoyment are naturally intertwined. We recognize taking care of your ears will add life to your years and while money can’t buy happiness, hearing better is a smart start. May we see you soon?
1 Heine C, Browning CJ. Mental health and dual sensory loss in older adults: a systematic review. Front Aging Neurosci. 2014;6:83.
2 Kiely KM, Anstey KJ, Luszcz MA. Dual sensory loss and depressive symptoms: the importance of hearing, daily functioning, and activity engagement. Front Hum Neurosci. 2013;7:837.