Are you the primary caretaker for somebody over the age of 70? You have a lot to keep track of. You’re not likely to forget to take a family member to an oncologist or a cardiologist because those are obvious priorities. But there are things that are commonly neglected because they don’t seem like priorities such as the yearly checkup with a hearing specialist. And those small things can make a big difference.
For The Health of a Senior, Hearing is Important
More and more published research has echoed one surprising truth: your hearing is vitally important. In addition, your hearing is essential in a way that goes beyond your ability to listen to music or communicate. Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are a couple of mental health issues that have been connected to neglected hearing loss.
So when you miss Mom’s hearing appointment, you might unintentionally be increasing her risk of developing these problems, including dementia. If Mom isn’t able to hear as well these days, she could begin to separate herself; she has dinner by herself in her room, stops going to movies, and doesn’t go out with her friends.
This sort of social isolation can happen very quickly when hearing loss takes hold. So if you find Mom or Dad starting to become a little distant, it may not have anything to do with their mood (yet). Hearing loss may be the problem. And that hearing-induced isolation can itself ultimately result in mental decline (your brain is an organ that has to be exercised or it begins to decline). So regarding a senior parents physical and mental health, recognizing and managing hearing loss is crucial.
By now you should be persuaded. You’re taking it as a given that hearing is crucial and that untreated hearing loss can snowball into other problems. What measures should you take to make hearing a priority? Here are a few things you can do:
- The same is the situation if you find a senior beginning to segregate themselves, canceling on friends and spending more time in the house. Any hearing issues can be diagnosed by us when you bring them in.
- Once per year a hearing screening needs to be scheduled for everybody above the age of 55. Be certain that your senior parent has a scheduled appointment for such a screening.
- Help your parents remember to recharge their hearing aids each night before they go to bed (of course that particularly applies to rechargeable devices).
- Don’t forget to monitor how your parents are acting. If you observe the tv getting a little louder every week, talk to Mom about making an appointment with a hearing specialist to see if you can pinpoint a problem.
- Keep track of when your parents are using their hearing aids, and see that it’s daily. In order to make sure the hearing aids are operating at their optimum ability, they need to be used routinely.
How to Reduce Health Problems in The Future
Being a caregiver probably isn’t your only job so you more than likely have a lot to deal with. And if hearing problems aren’t causing immediate issues, they may seem somewhat trivial. But there’s rather clear evidence: dealing with hearing ailments now can prevent a wide range of serious issues in the long run.
So when you bring a loved one to their hearing appointment, you could be preventing much more costly ailments in the future. Depression could be avoided before it even begins. You might even be able to decrease Mom’s chance of getting dementia in the near-term future.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing specialist for most of us. It’s also very helpful to prompt Mom to wear her hearing aid more frequently. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much smoother and more pleasant.