Are you the primary caretaker for somebody older than 70? There’s a lot to take into consideration. You’re not likely to forget to bring a loved one to an oncologist or a cardiologist because those are clear priorities. But there are things that are often overlooked 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. Beyond the ability to communicate or hear and enjoy music, your hearing plays an extremely significant role. Depression and loss of cognitive abilities are a couple of mental health problems that have been associated with untreated hearing loss.
So you inadvertently increase Mom’s risk of dementia by skipping her hearing appointment. If Mom isn’t capable of hearing as well now, she could begin to separate herself; she stops going to movies, doesn’t meet with her friends for coffee, and eats dinner alone in her bedroom.
This type of social separation can happen very quickly when hearing loss takes hold. So if you observe Mom or Dad beginning to become a little distant, it may not be about their mood (yet). Hearing loss may be the issue. And cognitive decline can eventually be the consequence of that hearing loss (your brain is a very use-it-or-lose-it type of organ). So recognizing the symptoms of hearing loss, and ensuring those signs are treated, is crucial with regards to your senior parents’ mental and physical health.
By now you should be convinced. You now recognize that untreated hearing loss can result in several health problems and that you need to take hearing seriously. How can you make certain ear care is a priority? There are a couple of things you can do:
- Anyone over the age of 55 or 60 should be having a hearing screening once per year or so. Make sure that your senior parent has a scheduled consultation for such an examination.
- Don’t forget to watch how your parents are behaving. If your parent is gradually turning the volume on their television up, you can determine the problem by making an appointment with a hearing specialist.
- Every night before bed, make sure your parents put their hearing aids on the charger (at least in situations where their devices are rechargeable).
- 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 optimal capacity, they need to be used consistently.
- And if you find a senior spending more time at home, backing out on friends, and separating themselves, the same applies. A trip to come see us can help shed light on the occurrence of any hearing difficulties.
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 on your plate. And if hearing problems aren’t causing immediate concerns, they may seem a little trivial. But there’s rather clear evidence: managing hearing ailments now can avoid a multitude of serious problems down the road.
So when you bring a loved one to their hearing consultation, you could be avoiding much more costly health conditions down the road. You could head off depression before it starts. You may even be able to reduce Mom’s chance of getting dementia in the near-term future.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing professional for most of us. It’s also very helpful to remind Mom to use hear hearing aid more consistently. And once that hearing aid is in, you may just be able to have a nice conversation, too.