Do you have a senior over the age of 70 in your care? You have a lot to remember. Taking a senior to a cardiologist or setting up an appointment with an oncologist seems like a priority, so you aren’t likely to forget anything like that. But there are things that are regularly overlooked because they don’t feel like priorities such as the annual checkup with a hearing professional. And those little 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. Additionally, your hearing is essential in a way that goes further than your capacity to listen to music or communicate. Untreated hearing loss has been linked to numerous mental and physical health problems, such as loss of cognitive ability and depression.
So you inadvertently raise Mom’s chance of dementia by missing her hearing consultation. If Mom isn’t able to hear as well now, she could begin to isolate herself; she stops going to see movies, doesn’t meet with her friends for coffee, and has dinner alone in her bedroom.
When hearing loss sets in, this type of social isolation occurs very quickly. So if you find Mom or Dad beginning to become a little distant, it might not have anything to do with their mood (yet). It might be their hearing. And that hearing-induced isolation can itself potentially bring about cognitive decline (your brain is an organ that has to be exercised or it begins to diminish). So regarding a senior parents mental and physical health, identifying and treating hearing loss is crucial.
By now you should be persuaded. You’re taking it as a given that hearing is important and that untreated hearing loss can snowball into other issues. How can you make sure ear care is a priority? There are a couple of things you can do:
- Every night before bed, help your parents to recharge their hearing aids (of course that specifically applies to rechargeable devices).
- Remind your parents to wear their hearing aids each day. So that you can ensure the hearing aids are functioning at their optimum ability, they need to be used routinely.
- Be mindful of your parents’ habits. If your parent is slowly turning the volume on their television up, you can pinpoint the issue by making an appointment with a hearing professional.
- Anyone above the age of 55 or 60 should be having a hearing screening once per year or so. Be sure that your senior parent has a scheduled appointment for such an examination.
- And if you notice a senior spending more time at home, canceling out on friends, and isolating themselves, the same is true. A consultation with us can help shed light on the existence of any hearing issues.
Protecting Against Future Health Concerns
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 could seem a bit trivial. But the evidence is rather clear: dealing with hearing conditions now can avoid a wide range of serious issues in the long run.
So when you take a loved one to their hearing exam, you could be avoiding much more costly ailments down the road. Depression could be prevented before it even begins. And Mom’s risk of dementia in the near future will also be decreased.
That’s worth a trip to see a hearing professional for the majority of us. It’s also extremely helpful to prompt Mom to wear her hearing aid more regularly. And that hearing aid will make your conversations with her much easier and more pleasant.