You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Research demonstrates one out of three adults between 65 and 74 is coping with hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, unfortunately.
This inaction leads to difficulty hearing, in addition to increased dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Suffering in silence is how many people deal with their hearing loss.
But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging foliage, beginning new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking 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 part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can start a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
Depression cases among those with hearing loss are almost twice that of somebody with normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. Isolation from family and friends is often the result. They’re prone to stop including themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one may not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be nervous or embarrassed. Maybe they’re going through denial. In order to identify when will be the right time to have this conversation, some detective work may be necessary.
Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on outward cues, such as:
- Staying away from busy places
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Agitation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
- Staying away from conversations
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Misunderstanding situations more often
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
- Not hearing important sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
Watch for for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation may not be easy. A companion in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so significant. The steps will be the basically same even though you might need to adjust your language based on your unique relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
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 a higher risk of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can cause anxiety, which might impact your relationship. If someone has broken into your home, or you call out for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is a key part of strong communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Agree together to make an appointment to have a hearing test. Do it right away after making the decision. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might happen anywhere in the process. You know this person. What issues will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could cause more harm than good.
Be prepared with your answers. You could even rehearse them in the mirror. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to follow this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other isn’t willing to discuss it. But you’ll get your loved one the help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this conversation. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?