Do you have a senior older than 70 in your care? There’s a lot to keep in mind. You aren’t likely to forget to take a loved one to an oncologist or a cardiologist because those are clear priorities. What slips through the cracks, though, are the small things, such as the annual exam with a hearing specialist or making sure Dad’s hearing aids are charged up. And those things are a bigger priority than you might suspect.
For The Health of a Senior, Hearing is Essential
More and more published research has echoed one surprising truth: your hearing is vitally important. What’s more, your hearing is critical in a way that goes beyond your capacity to listen to music or communicate. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to several mental and physical health problems, including depression and loss of cognitive abilities.
So you unwittingly raise Mom’s chance of dementia by skipping her hearing consultation. Mom could start to separate 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 by herself in her room.
When hearing loss takes hold, this sort of social isolation happens very quickly. So mood may not be the reason for the distant behavior you’ve been noticing in Dad or Mom. Hearing loss might be the issue. 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 diminish). So recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss, and making certain those symptoms are addressed, is essential when it comes to your senior parents’ mental and physical health.
By now you should be convinced. You now recognize that neglected hearing loss can result in several health issues and that you need to take hearing seriously. How can you make certain ear care is a priority? There are a couple of things you can do:
- Monitor your parents’ behavior. If your parent is gradually turning the volume on their television up, you can pinpoint the issue by scheduling an appointment with a hearing professional.
- The same is true if you notice a senior beginning to separate themselves, canceling on friends and spending more time in the house. A consultation with us can help illuminate the existence of any hearing difficulties.
- Every night before bed, help your parents to put their hearing aids on the charger (at least in cases where their hearing aids are rechargeable).
- Monitor when your parents are using their hearing aids, and see that it’s every day. Routine hearing aid use can help guarantee that these devices are performing to their optimum capacity.
- Anyone over the age of 55 or 60 should be having a hearing screening once per year or so. You should help a senior parent schedule and keep these appointments.
How to Prevent Health Problems in The Future
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you most likely have a lot to deal with. And hearing concerns can feel a bit trivial if they aren’t causing immediate friction. But the evidence is quite clear: a wide range of serious health concerns in the future can be avoided by managing hearing issues now.
So you may be preventing costly illnesses down the road by bringing your loved one to their hearing consultation. Depression could be eliminated before it even begins. And Mom’s chance of dementia in the near future will also be decreased.
For the majority of us, that’s worth a trip to a hearing professional. It’s also very helpful to remind Mom to wear her hearing aid more consistently. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much easier and more pleasant.