Are you the main caretaker for somebody older than 70? There’s a lot to take into consideration. You’re not likely to forget to take a family member to an oncologist or a cardiologist because those are obvious priorities. What falls through the cracks, however, are the small things, such as the annual exam with a hearing professional or making sure Dad’s hearing aids are charged. And those small things can make a big difference.
For The Health of a Senior, Hearing is Important
More and more published research has echoed one surprising truth: your hearing is vitally important. Additionally, your hearing is critical in a way that goes beyond your ability to communicate or listen to music. Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are a couple of mental health concerns that have been linked to untreated hearing loss.
So you unintentionally raise Mom’s chance of dementia by skipping her hearing appointment. Mom could begin to isolate herself if she isn’t hearing well these days; she stops going to see movies, doesn’t meet with her friends for tea, and eats dinner alone in her room.
When hearing loss sets in, this kind of social separation occurs very quickly. So if you find Mom or Dad beginning to become a little distant, it may not be about their mood (yet). It could be their hearing. And cognitive decline can ultimately be the result of that hearing loss (your brain is a very use-it-or-lose-it kind of organ). So regarding a senior parents mental and physical health, noticing and dealing with hearing loss is crucial.
By now you should be convinced. You now realize that untreated hearing loss can result in several health issues and that you need to take hearing seriously. How can you make sure ear care is a priority? Here are some things you can do:
- Remind your parents to wear their hearing aids every day. Consistent hearing aid use can help guarantee that these devices are performing to their optimum efficiency.
- And if you notice a senior spending more time at home, canceling out on friends, and separating themselves, the same is true. Any hearing concerns can be identified by us when you bring them in.
- Every night before bed, help your parents to recharge their hearing aids (at least in situations where their hearing aids are rechargeable).
- Anyone above the age of 55 or 60 needs to be undergoing a hearing screening every year or so. You should help a senior parent schedule and keep these appointments.
- Don’t forget to watch how your parents are behaving. If your parent is gradually turning the volume on their television up, you can determine the issue by scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional.
Preventing Future Health Issues
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you likely have a lot on your plate. And hearing concerns can feel rather trivial if they aren’t causing immediate friction. But there’s very clear evidence: a wide range of serious health concerns in the future can be avoided by managing hearing loss now.
So when you take a loved one to their hearing consultation, you could be preventing much more costly health conditions down the road. You could stop depression before it starts. And Mom’s chance of dementia in the near future will also be reduced.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing professional for the majority of us. And it’s definitely worth a quick reminder to Mom that she needs to be using her hearing aid more vigilantly. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much smoother and more enjoyable.