Hearing Loss in Seniors is More Than Just Physical, It’s Emotional
March 10th, 2015 by John Wilson
Living assistance can help seniors cope with hearing loss.
One of the most prevalent conditions affecting our elderly is loss of hearing. The older we get, the more likely we will experience hearing loss. The inability to hear and respond properly can be frustrating and have an emotional, as well as physical, impact on older adults in assisted living communities. Here are some of the impacts of hearing problems the elderly face and how you can help.
How Hearing Loss Affects Seniors Physically
- Problems concentrating on someone’s conversation when others are talking at the same time.
- Inability to understand someone talking to them on the phone.
- Issues with hearing alarms or alerts, such as microwave ovens, phones ringing, doorbells or fire alarms at their living assistance homes.
- Unable to enjoy a TV program without turning the volume up high.
- Difficulty in understanding low or unclear speech from another person
- Being unaware when someone is speaking to them.
- Difficulty understanding their doctor during a medical visit.
How Hearing Loss Affects Seniors Emotionally
- Denial or embarrassment preventing them from admitting they have a hearing problem.
- Can lead to depression or feelings of inadequacy.
- Elderly with hearing problems are sometimes mistaken for being confused or uncooperative.
- Social withdrawal due to feeling frustrated or uncomfortable since they cannot understand what others are saying, resulting in feelings of isolation and loneliness.
- Can cause them to feel angry or irritable.
- Seniors in assisted living communities can be distracted, inattentive or bored when they cannot follow the conversation due to hearing problems.
What You Can Do to Help a Senior with Hearing Loss
- Look directly at the person and don’t eat or cover your mouth while speaking.
- Speak in a slow and clear manner.
- When in a group, allow one person at a time to speak with no interruptions.
- Stay away from noisy outings and in restaurants, avoid seating in congested areas, such as near kitchens or bar sections.
- Turn off distracting background noise, such as radios or television.
- If your senior hears better out of one ear than the other, stay near their good side.
- Exercise patience. Your senior may ask you to repeat something you said. Calmly repeating your words without getting upset will prevent embarrassment or other emotional hurt for your loved one.
If left untreated, hearing loss may worsen so if your senior is experiencing symptoms, contact their doctor for a hearing assessment. Depending on the hearing problem, your senior may need a hearing aid, medication or even surgery. Their doctor will be able to guide you and your older adult in the right approach to assist with their hearing issue.
If you are looking for senior living assistance for someone close to you, contact us. Village at Oakwood provides a caring community for your loved one.
Leave a Reply