Want to show how much you care? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Research demonstrates one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many individuals coping with hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But it’s almost springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, starting new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a good way to renew relationships.
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Studies have found that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the region of your brain used for hearing becomes less engaged, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
People with hearing loss have almost twice as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. Individuals with worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from friends and family is often the consequence. They’re likely to sink deeper into melancholy as they stop participating in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to reveal that they are developing hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be a problem for them. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the appropriate time to have this discussion, some detective work might be needed.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to depend on some of the following clues:
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- Watching TV with the volume really high
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
- Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Staying away from conversations
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- New levels of anxiety in social settings
Plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you observe any of these common signs.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be difficult to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a spouse in denial. That’s why it’s important 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: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve gone over the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that accompany neglected hearing loss. 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 overly high volumes on the TV and other devices. In addition, studies show that loud noise can cause anxiety, which may impact your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you yelling 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 just listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. These could occur anytime during the process. You know this individual. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be ready with your answers. You may even rehearse 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
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 fulfilling life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?