Are you the main caretaker for somebody older than 70? There’s a lot to take into consideration. You aren’t likely to forget to bring a family member to an oncologist or a heart specialist because those are obvious priorities. What falls through the cracks, though, are the small things, such as the annual appointment with a hearing specialist or making sure Dad’s hearing aids are charged up. And those small things can make a big difference.
For The Health of a Senior, Hearing is Essential
More and more published research has echoed one surprising truth: your hearing is vitally important. Beyond the ability to communicate or hear and enjoy music, your hearing plays an extremely significant role. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to a number of mental and physical health concerns, like loss of cognitive ability and depression.
So you inadvertently raise Mom’s chance of dementia by missing her hearing consultation. If Mom isn’t able to hear as well these days, she could begin to isolate herself; she stops going to see movies, doesn’t meet with her friends for tea, and eats dinner by herself in her room.
This sort of social separation can happen very quickly when hearing loss sets in. So if you observe Mom or Dad beginning to get a little distant, it might not have anything to do with their mood (yet). It could be their hearing. And cognitive decline can eventually be the result of that hearing loss (your brain is an organ that has to be exercised or it begins to decline). So with regards to a senior parents mental and physical health, noticing and dealing with hearing loss is crucial.
Alright, we’ve convinced you. You’re taking it as a given that hearing is important and that untreated hearing loss can lead to other problems. How can you make sure ear care is a priority? Here are a few things you can do:
- And if you notice a senior spending more time at home, canceling out on friends, and isolating themselves, the same is true. A consultation with us can help illuminate the existence of any hearing difficulties.
- Don’t forget to observe how your parents are behaving. If you notice the television getting somewhat louder every week, speak with Mom about schedule a consultation with a hearing specialist to see if you can identify a problem.
- Once per year a hearing screening needs to be scheduled for everybody above the age of 55. You should help a senior parent make and keep these appointments.
- Keep track of when your parents are wearing their hearing aids, and see that it’s every day. In order to ensure the hearing aids are operating at their optimum ability, they should be used routinely.
- Each night before bed, help your parents to put their hearing aids on the charger (at least in cases where their devices are rechargeable).
Preventing Future Health Concerns
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you more than likely have a lot to deal with. And if hearing issues aren’t causing immediate problems, they might seem a little trivial. But there’s very clear evidence: a wide range of significant health concerns in the future can be prevented by dealing with hearing loss now.
So you may be preventing costly afflictions down the road by bringing your loved one to their hearing consultation. Depression could be avoided before it even starts. You could even be able to reduce Mom’s risk of developing dementia in the near-term future.
For the majority of us, that’s worth a trip to a hearing professional. And it’s definitely worth a quick reminder to Mom that she should be wearing her hearing aid more vigilantly. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much smoother and more enjoyable.