You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
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. Sadly, only around 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many individuals deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have neglected hearing loss according to many studies. When the region of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can initiate a cascade effect that can affect your overall brain. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
Individuals with hearing loss have nearly two times as many cases of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research shows that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they often become stressed and agitated. Separation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop participating in activities once loved.
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 Mystery
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They could be nervous or embarrassed. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this conversation, some detective work might be necessary.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to rely on some of the following indicators:
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
- Misunderstanding situations more often
- Avoiding conversations
- Important sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
- Irritation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously noticed
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
Watch for for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It might be hard to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a partner in denial. That’s why it’s important to approach hearing loss correctly. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to adjust your language based on your individual relationship.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also worried about your own health and safety. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. If somebody has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.
Emotion is a key part of strong communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to get a hearing exam. After making the decision, make the appointment right away. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These might happen anytime during the process. You know this person. What will they object to? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Are they considering trying out home remedies? You recognize “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.
Be ready with your answers. 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
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?
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