You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to show them? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Research reveals one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is coping with hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually wear hearing aids, unfortunately.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Many people experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is right around the corner. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, beginning new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Studies have found that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the region of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less active, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
People with hearing loss have almost twice as many cases of depression than people who have normal hearing. Individuals with worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. The individual might start to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to tell you that they are experiencing hearing loss. They could be scared or embarrassed. Perhaps they’re going through denial. You may need to do some detective work to decide when it’s time to have the conversation.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to depend on some of the following clues:
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
- Important sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Agitation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
- Recurring misunderstandings
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- Staying away from conversations
- Avoiding busy places
Look for these common signs and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this discussion might not be easy. A spouse in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so important. The steps will be the basically same although you might need to adjust your language based on your individual relationship.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An overly loud television could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some research. If somebody has broken into your home, or you call out for help, your loved one might not hear you.
People connect with others by using emotion. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing assessment. After making the decision, make the appointment right away. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These could happen anytime during the process. You know this individual. What problems will they find? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they thinking about trying home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be prepared with your responses. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should speak to your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is unwilling to talk, it can be a tricky situation. But by having this talk, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Isn’t love all about growing closer?