Want to show how much you care? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research reveals one out of three adults between 65 and 74 is enduring hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Regrettably, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
This inaction leads to problems hearing, along with higher dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Suffering in silence is how many individuals endure their hearing loss.
But spring is right around the corner. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Talking openly about hearing loss can be a good way to renew relationships.
It’s Important to Have “The Talk”
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. A cascade effect that ultimately affects the overall brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Depression rates among those with hearing loss are almost double that of someone with healthy hearing. Individuals with deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience anxiety and agitation. Separation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re likely 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 isolation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to tell you that they are developing hearing loss. They may be scared or embarrassed. They may be in denial. You might need to do a little detective work to determine when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Since you can’t hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to use external cues, such as:
- Avoiding conversations
- New levels of anxiousness in social settings
- Staying away from busy places
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are often missed
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you can’t hear
- Recurring misunderstandings
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
Plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
Having this conversation might not be easy. A companion in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so significant. You may need to modify your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that untreated hearing loss can result in an increased risk of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some studies. If someone has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is an essential part of robust communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. Do it immediately after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might happen anytime during the process. This is somebody you know well. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Do they not admit to a problem? Are they thinking about trying home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter responses. You might even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should answer your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is reluctant to talk, it can be a difficult situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Isn’t love all about growing closer?