Do you have a senior older than 70 in your care? There’s a lot to take into consideration. You aren’t likely to forget to take a family member to an oncologist or a heart specialist because those are clear priorities. But there are things that are regularly overlooked 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. Beyond the ability to communicate or hear and enjoy music, your hearing plays a vitally significant role. Neglected hearing loss has been linked to a number of physical and mental health problems, like depression and loss of cognitive abilities.
So when you miss Mom’s hearing appointment, you could unintentionally be increasing her risk of developing these issues, including dementia. If Mom isn’t able to hear as well now, she could start to separate herself; she has dinner by herself in her room, stops going to movies, and doesn’t go out with her friends.
This type of social separation can happen very quickly when hearing loss takes hold. So if you find Mom or Dad beginning to get a little distant, it might not have anything to do with their mood (yet). Hearing loss may be the issue. And that hearing-induced isolation can itself eventually lead to cognitive decline (your brain is an organ that needs to be exercised or it begins to diminish). So noticing the signs of hearing loss, and making certain those symptoms are managed, is crucial with regards to your senior parents’ mental and physical health.
Making Hearing a Priority
By now you should be convinced. You now realize that untreated hearing loss can result in several health issues and that you should take hearing seriously. What measures should you take to make hearing a priority? Here are some things you can do:
- Help your parents remember to charge their hearing aids every night before they go to sleep (at least in situations where their hearing aids are rechargeable).
- Keep an eye on your parents’ habits. If you observe the television getting a little louder every week, talk to Mom about making a consultation with a hearing specialist to see if you can pinpoint a problem.
- Advise your parents to wear their hearing aids each day. Routine hearing aid use can help ensure that these devices are functioning to their optimal capacity.
- The same is the situation if you find 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 concerns.
- Once a year a hearing screening should be scheduled for anybody over the age of 55. You should help a senior parent make and keep these appointments.
Avoiding Future Health Concerns
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you most 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 pretty clear evidence: dealing with hearing ailments now can prevent a multitude of serious problems in the long run.
So when you take a loved one to their hearing consultation, you could be avoiding much more costly illnesses in the future. You could stop depression before it starts. And Mom’s chance of dementia in the near future will also be lessened.
For the majority of us, that’s worth a trip to a hearing professional. It’s also really helpful to remind Mom to wear her hearing aid more consistently. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much smoother and more enjoyable.