Do you have a senior over the age of 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 obvious priorities. But there are things that are regularly overlooked because they don’t seem like priorities such as the yearly checkup with a hearing professional. And those little 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. Additionally, your hearing is critical in a way that goes further than your ability to listen to music or communicate. Untreated hearing loss has been connected to several mental and physical health concerns, including depression and loss of cognitive abilities.
So you unwittingly increase Mom’s chance of dementia by skipping her hearing appointment. If Mom isn’t capable of hearing as well now, she could begin to separate herself; she eats dinner alone in her room, stops going to see movies, and doesn’t go out with her friends.
When hearing loss takes hold, this type of social separation happens very quickly. So mood may not be the reason for the distant behavior you’ve been noticing in Mom or Dad. It could be their hearing. And that hearing-induced isolation can itself ultimately lead to mental decline (your brain is a very use-it-or-lose-it type of organ). So regarding a senior parents physical and mental health, noticing and managing hearing loss is essential.
Making Hearing a Priority
Alright, we’ve persuaded you. You’re taking it as a given that hearing is significant and that neglected hearing loss can snowball into other issues. How can you make certain ear care is a priority? Here are a few things you can do:
- The same is true if you observe a senior starting to segregate themselves, canceling on friends and staying inside more. A consultation with us can help illuminate the occurrence of any hearing concerns.
- Don’t forget to watch how your parents are acting. If your parent is gradually turning the volume on their television up, you can identify the issue by scheduling an appointment with a hearing specialist.
- Once a year a hearing screening should be scheduled for anyone over the age of 55. Be certain that your senior parent has a scheduled appointment for such an examination.
- Every night before bed, help your parents to recharge their hearing aids (of course that exclusively applies to rechargeable hearing aids).
- Remind your parents to use their hearing aids every day. Routine hearing aid use can help ensure that these devices are operating to their optimum capacity.
Preventing Future Health Issues
As a caregiver, you already have a lot to do, especially if you’re part of that all-too-common sandwich generation. And hearing concerns can feel somewhat trivial if they aren’t causing immediate friction. But the evidence is rather clear: a multitude of significant health concerns in the future can be avoided by dealing with hearing issues now.
So you could be preventing costly ailments down the road by taking your loved one to their hearing appointment. Depression could be avoided before it even starts. And Mom’s risk of dementia in the near future will also be decreased.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing specialist for most of us. It’s also extremely helpful to prompt Mom to wear her hearing aid more consistently. And when that hearing aid is in, you may just be able to have a nice conversation, as well.