Hearing loss is a part of aging but It doesn’t happen overnight. It comes gradually and it’s usually in both ears, affecting one in three people ages 65-74. Living with reduced hearing may be uncomfortable and difficult for older adults and some may not want to admit it. It can be frustrating for family to deal with seniors with hearing loss but it’s even more frustrating for them. Here are ways you can help your loved one cope.
- Keep volumes reasonable. It’s important to avoid constant or continuous exposure to loud noises as that worsens hearing. If loud situations are unavoidable, keep a pair of earplugs handy. Avoid using cotton swabs to remove earwax; ask your doctor for best practices.
- Encourage healthy foods. Eating a balanced diet supports a strong immune system, healthy blood flow, and cholesterol levels, low blood pressure, etc. All of which reduce the risk of hearing loss.
- Be patient. People who suffer from hearing loss wait five to seven years before they do anything. Saying things like “Never mind, it’s not important” if they can’t hear you, only makes the person feel worse about themselves. Try to not act as “ears” for them. While you think that you’re helping a loved one, it builds a relationship of co-dependence that can hurt him or her overtime.
Most importantly, your support can be extremely helpful towards recovery. Remind yourself that this is a difficult and lengthy process. Always speak openly and naturally,
If you think your loved one has a hearing problem, consult with their primary care physician. They can refer you to other experts and/or offer assistive-listening devices including hearing aids, alerting, and visual devices.
If you are considering a nursing home or assisted living for a loved one in northern NJ, The Little Nursing Home of Montclair offers a cozy and calm atmosphere with the comforts of home. We are family-owned for over 60 years and run by experienced registered nurses. Call or email us for more info or to schedule a tour.