Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Studies reveal millions of people would benefit from using hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some degree of hearing loss. Sadly, only about 30% of these individuals 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 individuals endure their hearing loss.
But it’s almost springtime. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing together. 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 untreated hearing loss according to several studies. A cascade effect that ultimately impacts the entire brain can be initiated when there’s decreased activity in the region of your brain responsible 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 almost twice that of a person with healthy hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. The person might begin to isolate themselves from family and friends. They’re likely to stop including 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 feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They might be nervous or embarrassed. They could be in denial. In order to decide when will be the right time to have this discussion, some detective work might be needed.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may need to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Not hearing important sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
- Staying away from conversations
- New levels of anxiety in social situations
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Watching TV with the volume really high
- Staying away from busy places
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
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 might be hard to have this talk. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a spouse in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper way is so significant. The steps will be the basically same although you might need to adjust 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’re worried about their health. You’ve gone over the studies. You know that untreated hearing loss can lead to an increased chance of depression and dementia. You don’t want your loved one to go through that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. Your hearing can be harmed by overly loud volumes on the TV and other devices. In addition, research has shown that elevated noise can lead to anxiety, which might impact your relationship. Your loved one may not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen or somebody’s broken into the house.
People engage with others by using emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more impactful than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. Do it right away after making the decision. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be prepared for your loved ones to have some objections. These might occur anytime during the process. This is somebody you know well. What will they object to? Costs? Time? Do they not see a problem? Are they thinking about trying home remedies? You recognize “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you practice them beforehand. You should speak to your loved one’s concerns but you don’t need to adhere to 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 help they require to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Isn’t love all about growing together?