You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That calls for, of course, the ability to hear.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss. But only 30% of those individuals actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
This inaction results in difficulty hearing, along with higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Suffering in silence is how many individuals deal with their hearing loss.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, fresh starts, and growing closer. Talking candidly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.
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. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the entire brain can be initiated when there’s reduced activity in the part of your brain used for hearing. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have nearly twice as many instances of depression than people who have healthy hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become stressed and agitated. Separation from family and friends is often the consequence. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
This, in turn, can result in relationship strain among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this person’s life.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing issues. Fear or shame could be an issue for them. Maybe they’re dealing with denial. You might need to do a little detective work to determine when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Irritation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, washer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
- Avoiding conversations
Plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you observe any of these common signs.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this conversation might not be easy. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. 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: Make them understand that you value your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in an increased risk of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. An overly loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. If someone has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
People engage with others by using emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than merely listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to have a hearing test. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any point during the process, they may have these objections. You know this person. What will their objections be? Costs? 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 benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter responses. Maybe you practice them beforehand. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one 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?