Do you have a senior over the age of 70 in your care? You have a lot to remember. You’re not likely to forget to take a family member to an oncologist or a heart specialist because those are obvious priorities. But there are things that are frequently forgotten because they don’t feel like priorities such as the yearly checkup with a hearing professional. 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. In addition, your hearing is critical in a way that goes further than your capacity to listen to music or communicate. Neglected hearing loss has been connected to numerous physical and mental health concerns, such as loss of cognitive ability and depression.
So you unwittingly raise Mom’s risk of dementia by missing her hearing appointment. Mom might start to isolate herself if she isn’t hearing well these days; she stops going to movies, doesn’t meet with her friends for tea, and eats dinner by herself in her room.
This type of social isolation can happen very quickly when hearing loss takes hold. So mood might not be the reason for the distant behavior you’ve been noticing in Mom or Dad. It could be their hearing. And cognitive decline can eventually be the result of that hearing loss (your brain is an organ that needs to be exercised or it begins to diminish). So with regards to a senior parents physical and mental health, recognizing and dealing with hearing loss is crucial.
Making Hearing a Priority
By now you should be persuaded. You now realize that neglected hearing loss can result in several health issues and that you should take hearing seriously. What steps should you take to make hearing a priority? There are a few things you can do:
- Remind your parents to wear their hearing aids every day. Consistent hearing aid use can help guarantee that these devices are performing to their optimum capacity.
- The same is true if you observe a senior beginning to separate themselves, canceling on friends and spending more time in the house. A trip to come see us can help shed light on the occurrence of any hearing problems.
- Don’t forget to observe how your parents are acting. If you observe the television getting somewhat louder every week, talk to Mom about making an appointment with a hearing specialist to see if you can identify a problem.
- Help your parents remember to charge their hearing aids each night before they go to bed (of course that exclusively applies to rechargeable hearing aids).
- Anyone over the age of 55 or 60 should be having a hearing screening once per year or so. Be sure that your senior parent has a scheduled consultation for such a screening.
Avoiding Future Health Concerns
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you more than likely have a lot to deal with. And hearing concerns can feel rather trivial if they aren’t causing immediate stress. But there’s very clear evidence: a multitude of serious health concerns in the future can be prevented by dealing with hearing loss now.
So when you bring a loved one to their hearing consultation, you could be preventing much more costly illnesses down the road. You could head off depression before it begins. And Mom’s risk of dementia in the near future will also be reduced.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing professional for the majority of us. It’s also really helpful to prompt Mom to use hear hearing aid more consistently. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much easier and more enjoyable.