If you’ve struggled with one or both of your parents having issues hearing but not accepting the fact, know you’re not alone. It is very common for people with hearing impairments to have difficulty recognising and accepting that they have hearing loss and to seek assistance for it. If you’ve noticed your parents showing signs of hearing loss, such as them having the TV or radio volume up loud, or them asking people to repeat themselves, it may be time to have an open and honest discussion.
You may have already tried to have a discussion with them but found you were met with resistance. There are numerous benefits to seeking assistance with hearing loss and having a gentle approach while focusing on these facts may help you have more success.
When Does Hearing Commonly Start To Deteriorate?
While for most people, hearing loss can begin to deteriorate when they are around 65, but truth be told it can happen at any age. The reasons for this can vary significantly from person to person depending on their history of exposure to excess noise, genetics, and other health factors such as diabetes or medication. Hearing loss generally occurs gradually leading to an inability to detect its onset. As we adjust to our hearing loss, it leads us to believe the problem is external rather than internal.
Numerous benefits come from boosting our hearing back to near-normal levels. Our ears play a very big role in our life. They help keep us safe by detecting environmental sounds and they keep us connected to the people around us.
Our hearing keeps us grounded and engaged with our surroundings both at a conscious and semi-conscious level. By losing this engagement, we are more prone to cognitive decline. Further exacerbating this cognitive decline is a social disengagement that can occur as our ability to communicate effectively with others breaks down.
By amplifying lost sound through hearing aids, you re-engage the ears and the part of the brain responsible for detecting sound. This has been shown to slow cognitive decline in older people and improve mood. You also boost your social confidence and improve your overall quality of life.
How Can You Approach Your Parents About Their Hearing?
Find a stress free time to approach your parents about their hearing loss. It is a difficult conversation for people to have but if handled delicately and empathetically, can be an extremely beneficial conversation. Focus on the aim of helping them and being their partner in the process of seeking a solution. Do your research as it will help you to understand the facts surrounding hearing loss, allowing you to better assist with any questions or doubts they may have. You can also speak to an audiologist yourself.
Watching a parent get older and seeing the roles of caregiver/receiver switch can make this an emotional conversation for you too. Remain calm and stick to the impacts of hearing loss and the benefits around improving their quality of life. Ultimately, it is their decision and they may need some time to process this conversation and accept change. There’s no need to push the topic. Provide the facts, show them support and offer them patience while they come to terms with the situation.
Is It One Hearing Solution For Everyone?
The type and degree of hearing loss can vary significantly from person to person. That being said, sensorineural hearing loss is the most common among elderly people. It is a decline in the inner ear’s ability to receive and process sound. As well as hearing aids, there are other additional solutions to assist people with hearing loss to communicate.
Hearing aids go a long way to boost hearing capabilities, but they’re not perfect. Use additional measures such as ensuring you are facing each other when talking so that they can follow along with your non-verbal communication, and ensure sufficient lighting so they can clearly see your lips for comprehension. We encourage you to attend your parent’s consultations with us if you wish so that we can answer your questions and work together in a safe and caring environment.
Think Your Parents Need A Hearing Assessment? Contact A Better Ear Today!
At A Better Ear, we understand that the transition to hearing assisted living can be challenging for lots of reasons. We take the time with our patients to answer their questions, discuss their options and ultimately come up with a solution that suits their needs. We have helped thousands of Brisbanites with their hearing loss who have all initially had similar trepidations that your parents may be having. For more information, we have further articles that can help you with your research, or you can contact us on (07) 3821 3744 to chat with our team to answer your questions or to schedule an appointment.