You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from using hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. Sadly, only about 30% of these people actually wear their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many individuals experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is right around the corner. Spring should be a time when we enjoy blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, starting new things, and getting closer to loved ones. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a superb way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Important
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in individuals who have untreated hearing loss according to several studies. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can start a cascade effect that can affect your overall brain. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have almost two times as many cases of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. The person may begin to isolate themselves from family and friends. They’re likely to fall deeper into melancholy as they stop engaging in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this isolation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not be ready to let you know that they are suffering from hearing loss. They could be afraid or ashamed. They could be in denial. In order to identify when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work may be needed.
Since you can’t hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to use external cues, like:
- Recurring misunderstandings
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Complaining about ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
- New levels of anxiousness in social settings
- Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people
- Watching TV with the volume really high
- Staying away from conversations
Watch for for these common signs and plan on having a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It may be difficult to have this talk. A spouse in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss appropriately. The steps will be the basically same although you may have to modify 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: You are concerned about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can cause a higher risk of dementia and depression. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Additionally, research has shown that loud noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. If somebody has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is an essential part of effective communication. Merely listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing assessment. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be prepared for objections. At any time during the process, they might have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could cause more harm than good.
Prepare your counter responses. Maybe you practice them beforehand. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your loved one is not willing to talk, it can be a tricky situation. But you’ll get your loved one the help they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Isn’t love all about growing together?