You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. That involves, of course, the ability to hear.
According to research, millions of individuals 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. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Suffering in silence is how many people endure their hearing loss.
But spring is almost here. It’s a time for emerging leaves, flowers, new beginnings, and growing together. Talking frankly about hearing loss can be a great way to renew relationships.
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Studies have observed that an individual with neglected 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 initiate a cascade effect that can impact your entire brain. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
People with hearing loss have nearly twice as many instances of depression than people who have healthy hearing. Research reveals that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become stressed and agitated. The person might begin to seclude themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop participating in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not feel that they can talk to you about their hearing problems. They may be scared or ashamed. Maybe they’re going through denial. In order to identify when will be the appropriate time to have this conversation, some detective work may be necessary.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to rely on external cues, like:
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
- Not hearing imperative sounds, like the doorbell, washer buzzer, or somebody calling their name
- Avoiding conversations
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Steering clear of settings with lots of people and activity
- New levels of anxiousness in social situations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else can hear
Watch for for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
Having this conversation might not be easy. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive reaction from a partner in denial. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss correctly. You might need to adjust your language based on your distinct relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Tell them you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You are worried about their health. You’ve done the research. You know that neglected hearing loss can result in a higher chance of dementia and depression. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. An overly loud TV could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be impacted by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some research. If somebody has broken into your house, or you yell for help, your loved one might not hear you.
Emotion is a key part of effective communication. Simply listing facts won’t be as impactful as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Come to an understanding 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. These could occur anywhere in the process. You know this person. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can use home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Prepare your counter replies. Perhaps you practice them ahead of time. You should speak to your loved one’s doubts but you don’t need to adhere to this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is not willing to talk, it can be a difficult 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. Isn’t love all about growing together?