It is estimated that roughly 50% of Canadians over the age of 60 have some degree of hearing loss. The gradual loss of hearing that typically comes with age is also known as presbycusis. While it is true that hearing capacity tends to deteriorate naturally with age, there are also a variety of other factors that may impact the severity of hearing loss, such as frequent exposure to loud noise, head trauma or injury, medications, illness, and existing health conditions.
In many cases, seniors are resistant to have hearing loss diagnosed and treated. This may be because the issue doesn’t seem overly urgent and they can still function reasonably well in daily life. However, the longer hearing loss is ignored the more likely it is to have severe and even permanent effects. Mobile hearing services are available for seniors with mobility issues, providing a practical and convenient solution to the problem.
Helpful Tips to Support Seniors With Hearing Loss
Older adults often struggle with hearing loss and are hesitant to get assistance because they feel they don’t need it or are ashamed or embarrassed. Family members and caregivers can take a considerate approach to help deal with and rectify the issue.
- Keep an open mind and show understanding
- Be respectful and empathetic
- Exercise patience
- Be mindful of hearing limitations
- Try to avoid aiding and abetting
- Educate about the numerous benefits of hearing aids
Keep an Open Mind and Show Understanding
Dealing with hearing loss can be stressful, especially when the affected individual is not fully aware of the complete reality of the situation. Since hearing loss generally develops slowly over time, it can sometimes be difficult to even recognize as it is happening. Attempting to understand what the person is going through is often helpful, and it is beneficial to keep an open mind about how the person with hearing loss wants to handle the issue.
Be Respectful and Empathetic
Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is not always easy, but it helps to gain perspective about what they might be experiencing. Be respectful when speaking to someone with hearing loss and try to avoid being dismissive if they did not catch what you said the first time. This will likely only lead to further feelings of frustration and ineptitude.
Being patient is one of the best ways to help seniors that are resistant to getting assistance with hearing loss. Bear in mind that it takes the average person anywhere from 7 to 10 years to take action to correct hearing loss. Being pushy often only serves to increase resistance.
Be Mindful of Hearing Limitations
When speaking to a person with hearing loss there are certain techniques that can help with communication. Try to speak clearly and concisely and avoid mumbling. Hand gestures and obvious facial expressions can also be useful. Avoiding areas with a lot of background noise is also recommended for easier interaction.
Try to Avoid Aiding and Abetting
While it is helpful to cater your speech somewhat when speaking to someone with hearing loss, being too accommodating can actually make the problem worse. Acting as the ears of the affected individual only enables them to continue living with the condition untreated. Being practical and respectful is one thing, but encouraging independence is also extremely important.
Educate About the Numerous Benefits of Hearing Aids
The senior generation still quite often has difficulty getting over the stigma of wearing a hearing aid as it is seen as some kind of weakness. Hearing aid technology is incredibly advanced and can be used to significantly improve hearing capacity for a wide range of individuals with hearing loss. As seniors become more familiar with the copious benefits of hearing aids they are more likely to open up to the possibility of using them.