You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Truly 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 using hearing aids because one in 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, unfortunately.
Diminishing hearing, depression, higher dementia rates, and stressed relationships are some consequences of this inaction. Many individuals coping with hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But it’s nearly springtime. It’s a time for new foliage, flowers, new beginnings, and growing closer. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by talking openly about hearing loss?
It’s Necessary to Have “The Talk”
Studies have found that an individual with untreated hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that ultimately affects the overall brain can be initiated when there’s diminished activity in the part of your brain used for hearing. This is called “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s the “use it or lose it” principle in action.
People with hearing loss have almost two times as many cases of depression than people who have normal hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The individual might start to isolate themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to stop involving themselves in the activities they once enjoyed as they sink deeper into a state of sadness.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one may not be ready to reveal that they are experiencing hearing loss. Fear or embarrassment could be an issue for them. Perhaps they’re going through denial. You may need to do a little detective work to determine when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Because it’s not possible for you to directly know how impaired your spouse’s hearing loss is, you may need to depend on some of the following indicators:
- Agitation or anxiety in social settings that you haven’t previously seen
- School, hobbies, and work are suddenly becoming harder
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, dryer buzzer, or someone calling their name
- Staying away from conversations
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else hears
- Misunderstanding situations more often
- Staying away from busy places
- Turning the volume way up on the TV
Look for these common symptoms and plan to have a heart-to-heart conversation with your loved one.
The Hearing Loss Talk – Here’s How
It may be hard to have this conversation. A partner in denial may brush it off or become defensive. That’s why it’s essential to approach hearing loss properly. The steps will be the basically same even though you might have to modify your language based on your distinct relationship.
Step 1: Let them know that you love them unconditionally and appreciate your relationship.
Step 2: You are concerned about their health. You’ve gone over the studies. You’re aware of the higher dementia risk and depression that come with untreated hearing loss. You don’t want your loved one to deal with that.
Step 3: Your own health and safety are also a concern. An excessively loud television could damage your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. If somebody has broken into your home, or you yell for help, your loved one may not hear you.
People connect with others by using emotion. Simply listing facts won’t be as effective as painting an emotional picture of the possible consequences.
Step 4: Come to an agreement that it’s time for a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment immediately. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for your loved ones to have some objections. At any point during the process, they could have these objections. This is someone you know well. What will their objections be? Costs? Time? Do they not acknowledge a problem? Do they think they can utilize homemade remedies? Be aware that these natural remedies don’t help hearing loss and can actually do more harm.
Be prepared with your responses. You could even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to match those listed above word-for-word, but they should speak to your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is reluctant to talk, it can be a tough situation. But by having this conversation, you’ll grow closer and get your loved one the help they need to live a longer, healthier, more satisfying life. Isn’t love all about growing together?