You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using 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 individuals actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
This inaction leads to difficulty hearing, in addition to increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many people experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Studies have revealed 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 entire brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have almost two times as many cases of depression than individuals who have normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they often become anxious and agitated. The person might start to isolate themselves from family and friends. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this isolation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be nervous or ashamed. They may be in denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this conversation, some detective work may be needed.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to depend on some of the following clues:
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Staying away from conversations
- Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you don’t hear
- Misunderstanding situations more often
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Irritation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously noticed
Look for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation might not be easy. A companion in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so important. The steps will be the basically same although you might have to adjust your language based on your unique relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You’re worried about their health. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that come with neglected hearing loss. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. An overly loud TV could damage your hearing. Additionally, research has shown that elevated noise can create anxiety, which might impact your relationship. If somebody has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.
People engage with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than just listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to get a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These might happen anywhere in the process. You know this person. What issues will they find? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could cause more harm than good.
Be prepared with your responses. You might even practice them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need 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 conversation, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more fulfilling life. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?