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. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one in three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some level of hearing loss. Sadly, only around 30% of these people actually use their hearing aids.
This inaction results in difficulty hearing, as well as higher dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. 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 Important to Have “The Talk”
Studies have revealed that an person with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to develop dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that eventually impacts the overall brain can be initiated when there’s reduced activity in the region of your brain used for hearing. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. 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. People with worsening hearing loss, according to research, often experience agitation and anxiety. Isolation from friends and family is often the result. 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 separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not be ready to let you know that they are experiencing hearing loss. They might be afraid or ashamed. They might be in denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this discussion, some detective work might be necessary.
Since you are unable to hear what your spouse or parent hears, you’ll have to depend on outward cues, such as:
- New levels of anxiousness in social situations
- Staying away from conversations
- Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
- Not hearing imperative sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
- Sudden trouble with work, hobbies, or school
- Frequent misunderstandings
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
Watch for for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
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 essential to approach hearing loss correctly. You might need to modify your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be the same for the most part.
Step 1: Make them aware that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: You’re worried about their health. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that accompany untreated hearing loss. You don’t want that for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An overly loud TV could harm your hearing. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can create anxiety, which may impact your relationship. If somebody has broken into your house, or you call out for help, your loved one may not hear you.
People engage with others through emotion. Merely listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible repercussions.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. Do it immediately after making the decision. Don’t wait.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. These could happen anytime during the process. This is somebody you know well. What problems will they find? Money? Time? Are they convinced it’s no big deal? Are they thinking about trying out home remedies? You recognize “natural hearing loss cures” don’t really work and could do more harm than good.
Prepare your counter replies. You could even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should address your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is not willing to talk, it can be a tricky 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 closer – isn’t that what love is all about?