Do you have a relative, friend or neighbor who you think may have hearing loss? If they’re a senior, there’s a good chance they do. In fact, one in three adults between 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing.
Hearing loss affects more than just your loved one’s ability to hear well; it can also impact their mental health, cognitive skills, personal relationships and sense of balance.
Luckily, they have a caring, trusted person in their life (that’s you!) to help them on their journey to better hearing. Here are the steps you two can take together to help your senior manage their hearing loss and live independently.
Step 1: Talk to Them About Their Hearing Loss
Tackling the subject can be tricky. Some seniors will welcome the discussion, but some may not, especially if they don’t think they have a hearing issue. Always remember to maintain a kind, empathetic tone when having any conversation about hearing loss.
If needed, you may want to gently ask them if they’ve been experiencing any signs of hearing loss, such as thinking others are mumbling, having trouble hearing people on the phone, and turning up the TV or radio volume.
Step 2: Offer to Go With Them to See An Audiologist
Bringing someone in their support system to their appointment will help make the process easier and less stressful for your senior. If you can, plan to accompany them to the doctor’s office.
During their appointment, the audiologist will test for hearing loss and screen for other medical issues that may affect their hearing and balance. Depending on the degree of hearing loss, the doctor may prescribe hearing aids.
Step 3: Find Solutions to Help Them Live Independently at Home
Your loved one may sometimes forget to put in their hearing aids or choose not to use them while sleeping, particularly when they’re at home. Making a few modifications to your senior’s living space will help keep them safe and secure even when they aren’t wearing hearing aids.
• Install adaptive smoke alarms: Designed for people with hearing loss, these devices flash a strobe light or cause your senior’s bed to shake when the alarm detects fire.
• Use captioned or amplified phones: Captioned phones let your loved one read the text of a conversation as they listen, while amplified phones help them hear a conversation more clearly. Both types of phones are available for Florida residents at no cost, you just need the audiologist to certify that the individual has a hearing loss.
• Consider state-of-the-art doorbell tech: Your senior can choose from options with volume adjustment, a light that flashes when the doorbell rings or a camera that lets them see their visitor.
• Step up home security: Your loved one may not be able to hear the sound of an intruder entering. The solution? Install a security system that includes glass breaks on windows, door alarms and cameras around the home.
If you’re concerned you or someone you care about may have a hearing loss, call Precision Hearing at 352-765-8008 today to schedule an appointment.