You care deeply about your loved ones and want to do something to let them know? Listen to your loved ones, really listen. But you need to be able to hear in order to really listen.
Research demonstrates one out of three adults between 65 and 74 is enduring hearing loss and millions would benefit from using a hearing aid. But only 30% of those individuals actually use hearing aids, regrettably.
This inaction leads to trouble hearing, as well as increased dementia rates, depression, and strained relationships. Many people experiencing hearing loss just suffer in silence.
But it’s nearly springtime. Spring should be a time when we take pleasure in blossoming flowers, emerging leaves, starting new things, and growing closer to loved ones. Isn’t it time to renew your relationship by speaking openly about hearing loss?
Having “The Talk” is Necessary
Studies have found that an person with neglected hearing loss is 2.4 times more likely to experience dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. A cascade effect that ultimately affects the entire brain can be triggered when there’s decreased activity in the part of your brain responsible for hearing. This is referred to as “brain atrophy” by doctors. It’s an example of the “use it or lose it” concept at work.
Individuals with hearing loss have almost twice as many instances of depression than people who have healthy hearing. Research demonstrates that as a person’s hearing loss worsens, they frequently become anxious and agitated. The person may start to seclude themselves from friends and family. They’re likely to sink deeper into melancholy as they stop participating in activities once loved.
Strained relationships between friends and family members is often the result of this separation.
Solving The Mystery
Your loved one might not be ready to reveal that they are experiencing hearing loss. Fear or shame may be an issue for them. Maybe they’re going through denial. You may need to do some detective work to decide when it’s time to initiate the conversation.
Because it’s impossible for you to directly know how bad your spouse’s hearing loss is, you might need to depend on some of the following clues:
- Irritation or anxiousness in social settings that you haven’t previously observed
- Ringing, buzzing, and other sounds that no one else can hear
- Cranking the volume way up on the TV
- Avoiding conversations
- Steering clear of places with lots of people and activity
- Not hearing vital sounds, like the doorbell, washer buzzer, or someone calling their name
- Sudden difficulty with work, hobbies, or school
- Recurring misunderstandings
Watch for for these common signs and plan to have a heart-to-heart talk with your loved one.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss
It may be difficult to have this discussion. You may get the brush off or even a more defensive response from a partner in denial. That’s why approaching hearing loss in an appropriate way is so important. You may need to modify your language based on your unique relationship, but the steps will be more or less the same.
Step 1: Make them aware that you appreciate your relationship and have unconditional love for them.
Step 2: Their health is important to you and you’re concerned. You’ve read the studies. You’re aware of the increased dementia risk and depression that come with 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 excessively loud TV could harm your hearing. Relationships can also be effected by the anxiety loud sounds can cause, according to some studies. If somebody has broken into your house, or you call out for help, your loved one might not hear you.
People engage with others by using emotion. If you can paint an emotional picture of what might happen, it’s more effective than simply listing facts.
Step 4: Come to an understanding that it’s time for a hearing test. After making the decision, make the appointment immediately. Don’t procrastinate.
Step 5: Be ready for objections. At any point during the process, they could have these objections. You know this individual. What will their objections be? Money? Time? Do they not see a problem? Do they think they can utilize home remedies? You understand “natural hearing loss cures” don’t actually work and could do more harm than good.
Prepare your counter replies. You may even rehearse them in the mirror. They don’t have to be those listed above word-for-word, but they should speak to your loved one’s concerns.
Grow Your Relationship
If your significant other is unwilling to talk, it can be a tough situation. But you’ll get your loved one the assistance they need to live a long healthy life and grow closer by having this discussion. Isn’t love all about growing closer?