The Connection Between Aging and Hearing Impairment – and How to Help
“Would you say that once more, dear?”
“I am sorry – what was that?”
If this sounds like a common reply in your conversations with a beloved older adult, you are not alone. The National Institute on Aging reports a strong connection between growing older and hearing impairment, with as many as half of all individuals age 75 and older encountering hearing issues.
Hearing loss usually sneaks up gradually on older adults. With time, the wear and tear on the ears from noise leads to hearing impairment by damaging the fragile inner ear. In spite of this, those with hearing loss generally wait as long as seven years before getting help, and greater than 15 million people in the United States with hearing loss avoid seeking help altogether.
Although hearing loss is irreversible, Hired Hands Homecare wants older adults who suffer from its effects to know that there are approaches to help effectively manage hearing loss. To communicate more easily, older adults with a hearing impairment should practice the following:
Position themselves to hear better by facing the person to whom they are conversing:
- Shut off distracting background noise
- Ask others to speak clearly
- Seek out quiet settings
- Think about using an assistive listening device — hearing devices, like TV-listening devices or telephone-amplifying products, help people hear better while reducing other sounds
- Look into using devices such as flashing/vibrating clocks and phones; visible doorbell alerts; specialized smoke and burglar alarms
Family members can help by:
- Knowing the signs of hearing loss and making suitable referrals
- Being sensitive to the impact hearing impairment has on the senior and the various stages of adjustment the senior may go through before reaching a level of acceptance
- Modifying the home setting, when feasible, to support the special needs of those with a hearing loss
- Seeking out the support of experts like Hired Hands Homecare who have developed expertise in providing quality home care to seniors with hearing loss
To learn more…
- Visit the League for Hard of Hearing
- Contact AssistGuide Information Services for new and improved devices for accommodating hearing loss
- Contact Hired Hands Homecare for information on discovering ways to live comfortably with hearing loss
Unfortunately, many older adults begin to feel left out and isolated when enduring hearing loss. The compassionate, fully-trained caregivers at Hired Hands Homecare can help provide relief for lonely seniors by delivering companionship, accompaniment and transportation to appointments and events, and much more. You can reach us any time at (866) 940-4343 to learn more about how our California home care services can help older adults maximize their wellness, safety and independence, right in the comfort of home.