Do you have a senior over the age of 70 in your care? You have a lot to keep track of. Taking a relative to a cardiologist or scheduling an appointment with an oncologist seems like a priority, so you aren’t likely to forget those things. But there are things that are often overlooked because they don’t feel like priorities such as the annual checkup with a hearing professional. 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. In addition, your hearing is critical in a way that goes further than your ability to listen to music or communicate. Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are a couple of mental health problems that have been linked to neglected hearing loss.
So you inadvertently increase Mom’s risk of dementia by skipping her hearing consultation. Mom might begin to separate herself if she isn’t hearing well these days; she has dinner by herself in her room, stops going to movies, and doesn’t go out with her friends.
When hearing loss takes hold, this kind of social isolation occurs very quickly. So mood may not be the reason for the distant behavior you’ve been noting in Mom or Dad. It could be their hearing. And cognitive decline can ultimately be the result of that hearing loss (your brain is an organ that has to be exercised or it begins to decline). So recognizing the signs of hearing loss, and making sure those symptoms are managed, is essential with regards to your senior parents’ mental and physical health.
Making Hearing a Priority
Alright, we’ve convinced you. You now realize that neglected hearing loss can result in several health issues and that you need to take hearing seriously. What measures should you take to make hearing a priority? Here are various things you can do:
- And if you find a senior spending more time at home, backing out on friends, and separating themselves, the same is true. Any hearing issues can be identified by us when you bring them in.
- Don’t forget to observe how your parents are acting. If you notice the television getting a little louder every week, have a talk with Mom about schedule an appointment with a hearing professional to see if you can pinpoint an issue.
- Anyone over the age of 55 or 60 should be undergoing a hearing screening every year or so. Be certain that your senior parent has a scheduled appointment for such an examination.
- Remind your parents to wear their hearing aids every day. Routine use of hearing aids can help ensure that these devices are performing to their optimal efficiency.
- Every night before bed, make sure your parents put their hearing aids on the charger (of course that exclusively applies to rechargeable hearing aids).
Avoiding Future Health Issues
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you likely have a lot on your plate. And if hearing issues aren’t causing immediate concerns, they might seem a little trivial. But there’s pretty clear evidence: dealing with hearing ailments now can prevent a wide range of serious problems down the road.
So when you bring a loved one to their hearing exam, you could be avoiding much more costly ailments down the road. Depression could be avoided before it even starts. You might even be able to decrease Mom’s chance of developing dementia in the near-term future.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing professional for most of us. And it’s certainly worth a quick reminder to Mom that she should be wearing her hearing aid more diligently. And once that hearing aid is in, you might just be able to have a pleasant conversation, too.