You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to show them? Truly listen when your loved ones talk to you. That requires, of course, the ability to hear.
Research reveals one out of three adults between 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Sadly, only around 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. 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, starting new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Important
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is 2.4 times more likely in people who have neglected hearing loss according to several studies. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the overall brain can be triggered when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain used for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
Depression cases among individuals with hearing loss are nearly twice that of someone with normal hearing. Individuals who have deteriorating hearing loss, according to research, frequently experience agitation and anxiety. The person may start to seclude themselves from family and friends. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
This, in turn, can lead to 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 be ready to reveal that they are developing hearing loss. They could be scared or ashamed. Maybe they’re going through denial. You may need to do some detective work to determine when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- essential sounds, like someone calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other sounds that you don’t hear
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Watching TV with the volume extremely high
- Irritation or anxiety in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
- Staying away from busy places
- Avoiding conversations
Watch for for these common symptoms and plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It may be hard to have this discussion. 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 even though you may need to modify 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 untreated hearing loss can cause a higher risk of depression and dementia. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. Your hearing can be damaged by overly loud volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. If someone has broken into your home, or you call out for help, your loved one may not hear you.
People engage with others by using emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than just listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing assessment. After making the decision, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point in the process, they might have these objections. You know this individual. What issues will they find? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t improve hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you rehearse them beforehand. They don’t have to be those listed above word-for-word, but they should speak to your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is not willing to talk, it can be a tough situation. But by having this talk, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?