Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Studies reveal millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. But only 30% of those individuals actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
Neglecting your hearing loss results in trouble hearing, along with increased dementia rates, depression, and stressed relationships. Many people experiencing hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, fresh starts, and growing together. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Studies have revealed that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less engaged, it can initiate a cascade effect that can impact your overall brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
People with hearing loss have nearly twice as many cases of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. People with deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, often experience anxiety and agitation. Isolation from family and friends is frequently the consequence. They’re likely to sink deeper into melancholy as they stop participating in activities once loved.
This, in turn, can result in strained relationships amongst spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing problems. Fear or embarrassment might be an issue for them. They may be in denial. In order to decide when will be the right time to have this discussion, some detective work may be needed.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may have to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- Agitation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously observed
- Not hearing important sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
- Watching TV with the volume really high
- Frequent misunderstandings
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Avoiding conversations
- Steering clear of settings with lots of activity and people
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
It may be difficult to have this discussion. 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 appropriately. The steps will be the basically same although you may need to adjust your language based on your individual 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 worried. You’ve gone over the studies. You know that untreated hearing loss can cause an elevated chance of dementia and depression. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: You’re also concerned about your own health and safety. Your hearing can be harmed by excessively loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or somebody’s broken into the house.
Emotion is a key part of robust communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing exam. Do it right away after making the decision. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any time during the process, they may have these objections. This is someone you know well. What issues will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they considering trying out home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be ready with your answers. You might even practice them in the mirror. You should address your loved one’s doubts but you don’t have to use this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your loved one isn’t willing to consider it. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this talk. Isn’t love all about growing closer?