You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, truly listen. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
Research shows one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 is experiencing hearing loss and millions would benefit from wearing a hearing aid. But only 30% of those people actually wear hearing aids, regrettably.
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 it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Important
Studies have observed that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the region of your brain used for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can impact your entire 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 almost twice as many instances of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become anxious and agitated. Isolation from friends and family is frequently the consequence. They’re prone to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they fall deeper into a state of depression.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is frequently the result of this separation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not think they can talk to you about their hearing problems. They may be nervous or embarrassed. Perhaps they’re dealing with denial. In order to decide when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work may be necessary.
Since you are unable to hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to depend on external cues, such as:
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Important sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- Staying away from conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else hears
- Agitation or anxiousness in social situations that you haven’t previously seen
Plan on having a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one if you notice any of these common symptoms.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation might not be easy. 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 correctly. You may need to modify your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.
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 lead to a higher 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. An excessively loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud noises can cause, according to some studies. If someone has broken into your house, or you call out for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is an essential part of robust communication. Merely listing facts won’t be as impactful 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 procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These might occur anywhere in the process. You know this individual. What will they object to? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? You know “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.
Prepare your counter replies. You could even rehearse them in the mirror. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to use this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is reluctant to talk, it can be a tricky situation. But by having this conversation, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more rewarding life. Growing closer – isn’t that what love is all about?