Understanding How Hearing Loss Impacts a Senior's Quality of Life
Hearing loss is prevalent among the older generation, with about half of those 85 and older being affected by hearing problems. It can have a significant effect on the day-to-day quality of life, causing distress and depression.
As hearing loss increases, it can have many negative effects on one's life. For example, those who have hearing loss may have trouble understanding what others say and thus have trouble communicating with others. Hearing loss may also cause an older adult to avoid social activities or become depressed.
Understanding how hearing loss can create a negative, ripple effect on an elderly person's life can help you better understand how you can help a loved one who is struggling with the issue.
How Hearing Loss Affects Your Senior Family Member's Quality Life
1. Communication Issues Leading to Irritability, Social Isolation, and Depression
The ability to communicate with others is an essential part of the quality of life. With hearing loss, however, communication can be difficult and frustrating. Those with a hearing loss are less able to understand what other people say and often struggle to hear over the television or radio.
It’s not just the inability to hear what other people are saying that can affect their quality of life. They often mistake a person’s words and thus struggle to hold an actual conversation.
This, in turn, can lead to a lack of support from loved ones who are not receiving any communication from those seniors with hearing loss. This can lead to a cycle of isolation and depression.
2. Diminished Psychological Health and Cognitive Skills
The inability to hear clearly can have a negative impact on the psychological health of an older adult. When older adults can’t hear well, they can also struggle to remember information.
This can lead to a loss of psychological health and diminished cognitive skills. They may struggle to understand and follow directions, remember what they have just heard and comprehend what they are reading.
3. Reduced Alertness and Higher Risks to One's Safety or Overall Health
When older adults can’t hear well, they can also have a harder time listening for alarms or other signs of danger. Hearing loss can result in a higher risk of falling or other accidents. On top of this, hearing loss can also make senior citizens susceptible to developing dementia.
Why Seniors Struggle to Accept Medical Help and Address Age-Related Hearing Loss
There are many ways to help cope with hearing loss. Medications, hearing aids, and cochlear implants can all help to improve hearing. However, it can be difficult for seniors to accept help and address hearing loss issues.
Different seniors have their own reasons for declining help, be it due to denial, perceived stigma, or simply a lack of financial wellness to shoulder the costs of treating hearing loss. Whatever it is, you can help by learning the best way to help your parent or loved one address their hearing issues.
The Bottom Line: Helping Your Senior Loved Ones Address their Hearing Loss
If you're caring for a senior with hearing loss, it's important to foster a good relationship and communication with them. You want to make sure that you understand the hearing loss and its causes, and you want to communicate what you understand and what kind of help you can provide.
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