Want to show how much you care? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research demonstrates one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. Sadly, only about 30% of these individuals actually use their hearing aids.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and strained relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many people coping with hearing loss simply suffer in silence.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Studies have revealed that an individual with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain used for hearing becomes less active, it can start a cascade effect that can affect your overall brain. Doctors call this brain atrophy. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” principle at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have nearly twice as many cases of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. Isolation from family and friends is often the consequence. They’re likely to fall deeper into melancholy as they stop engaging in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this isolation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing issues. They may be nervous or embarrassed. Perhaps they’re dealing with denial. You may need to do a little detective work to decide 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 have to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Experiencing a ringing, humming, static, or other noises that you can’t hear
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Not hearing important sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Avoiding conversations
- Misunderstanding situations more often
- Irritation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
- Staying away from busy places
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you notice any of these common signs.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation might not be easy. A spouse in denial might brush it off or become defensive. That’s why approaching hearing loss in the proper manner is so important. The steps will be the basically same even though you may need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and value your relationship.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re worried. You’ve read the studies. You know that neglected hearing loss can lead to an elevated chance 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. Your hearing can be harmed by overly high volumes on the TV and other devices. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some research. Your loved one might not hear you calling for help if you’ve fallen down or someone’s broken into the house.
People engage with others through emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of the what-ifs, it’s more impactful than merely listing facts.
Step 4: Agree together to schedule an appointment to get a hearing test. Do it right away after deciding. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might happen anytime during the process. This is someone you know well. What will they object to? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t benefit hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be prepared with your answers. Perhaps you practice 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 reluctant to talk, it can be a difficult situation. But by having this discussion, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Growing together – isn’t that what love is all about?