You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to show them? Really listen when your loved ones talk to you. But you have to be able to hear in order to really listen.
According to research, millions of individuals would benefit from wearing hearing aids because one out of three adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have some amount of hearing loss. But only 30% of those people actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher instances of dementia, and stressed relationships are some outcomes of this inaction. Many individuals coping with hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But spring is right around the corner. 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 Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Studies have revealed that an person with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. When the part of your brain responsible for hearing becomes less engaged, it can begin a cascade effect that can affect your entire brain. Doctors refer to this as brain atrophy. It’s the “use it or lose it” concept in action.
People with hearing loss have nearly two times as many instances of depression than individuals who have healthy hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss gets worse, they often become stressed and agitated. The individual may start to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to fall deeper into depression as they stop participating in activities once loved.
This, in turn, can lead to relationship strain among spouses, but also between parent and child, close friends, and other people in this individual’s life.
Solving The Puzzle
Your loved one might not be ready to let you know that they are suffering from hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment might be a problem for them. Perhaps they’re dealing with denial. In order to determine when will be the best time to have this conversation, some detective work might be needed.
Since you can’t hear what your loved one hears, you’ll have to rely on outward cues, including:
- Ringing, buzzing, and other noises that no one else hears
- Avoiding conversations
- Misunderstanding situations more frequently
- essential sounds, like somebody calling their name, a doorbell, or a warning alarm are frequently missed
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming more difficult
- Watching TV with the volume exceedingly high
- Agitation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously seen
- Steering clear of places with lots of activity and people
Plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one if you detect any of these common symptoms.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It might be hard to have this talk. You might get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why it’s crucial to approach hearing loss appropriately. The steps will be the basically same even though you may need to modify your language based on your unique relationship.
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 concerned. You’ve done the research. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that accompany untreated hearing loss. That’s not what you want for your loved one.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a worry. An overly loud television could harm your hearing. Additionally, studies show that loud noise can lead to anxiety, which might effect your relationship. 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 strong communication. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than just listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing exam. After deciding, make the appointment as soon as possible. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any time in the process, they might have these objections. This is somebody you know well. What problems will they find? Costs? Time? Are they convinced it’s not a big deal? Are they considering trying out home remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be prepared with your responses. Maybe you rehearse them beforehand. You should address your loved one’s concerns but you don’t have to follow this exact plan word-for-word.
Grow Your Relationship
Talking about hearing loss isn’t easy if your significant other isn’t willing to discuss it. But by having this talk, 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?