“Will you repeat that, dear?”
“I apologize – what did you say?”
If this sounds like a common reaction in your discussions with a beloved senior, you are not alone. The National Institute on Aging records a strong relationship between growing older and hearing problems, with nearly half of those age 75 and older encountering hearing difficulties.
Hearing loss with age naturally sneaks up on too many of us. In time, the damage to the ears from noise contributes to hearing loss by negatively impacting the delicate inner ear. Nonetheless, those with hearing loss generally wait on average seven years before pursuing help, and more than 15 million people in America with hearing loss refrain from seeking help altogether.
Although hearing loss is irreversible, Visiting Angels wants seniors who are afflicted by its effects to know that there are approaches to help effectively manage hearing loss. To communicate more efficiently, older adults with a hearing loss should carry out the following:
Situate themselves to hear better by facing the person to whom they are speaking
• Eliminate all distracting background noise
• Ask others to speak clearly
• Choose quiet settings
• Consider using an assistive listening device — hearing devices, including TV-listening devices or telephone-amplifying products, help people hear better while minimizing other sounds
• Think about using devices such as flashing/vibrating phones and clocks; visible doorbell alarms; specialty smoke and burglar alarms
Family care providers can help by:
• Recognizing the signs of hearing loss and making suitable referrals
• Remaining sensitive to the impact hearing loss has on the senior and the phases of adjustment the senior may go through before acceptance
• Modifying the home surroundings, when feasible, to support the special needs of those with a hearing loss
• Obtaining the support of professionals like Visiting Angels who have developed expertise in providing quality home care to seniors with hearing loss
To learn more…
• Visit the League for Hard of Hearing
• Contact AssistGuide Information Services for new and improved devices for accommodating hearing loss
• Contact Visiting Angels for insight on discovering ways to live comfortably in spite of hearing loss
Sadly, many older adults begin to feel left out and isolated due to hearing loss with age. The friendly, fully-trained caregivers at Visiting Angels can help provide relief for lonely seniors by offering companionship, accompaniment and transportation to appointments and fun events, and much more. You can reach us any time at 510-284-0000 to discover more about how our home health care services in Fremont and the surrounding areas can help seniors maximize their wellbeing, safety and independence, right in the comfort of home.