According to a recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, nearly half of all adults over the age of 75 have some form of hearing loss. If your aging parent seems to be experiencing hearing loss, it’s time to come up with a long-term plan. Most forms of hearing loss can’t be reversed, but there are quite a few steps you can take to address the issue and boost your parent’s quality of life.
1. Schedule a Comprehensive Checkup
The first thing you need to do is encourage your loved one to schedule an appointment with an audiologist, who can thoroughly test your parent’s hearing and figure out exactly what’s causing the hearing loss. In some cases, hearing loss is caused by underlying health issues that must be treated right away. If you can’t find an audiologist in your area, ask your parent’s primary doctor for recommendations.
Hearing loss and other age-related conditions could make it challenging for your loved one to live alone at home safely. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and require more extensive live-in care. Rocklin seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve.
2. Take a Look at Hearing Aids
After the hearing test has been conducted, the doctor might suggest the use of a hearing aid. These devices have become much more advanced in the last few years, and some of them can hardly be seen once they’re in the ears. Many modern hearing aids also last for multiple days on a single charge, which means your parent won’t have to worry about constantly taking them out to charge them or replace the batteries.
3. Inform Others
Even if your parent doesn’t feel the need to inform others of his or her hearing loss, there may come a time when you need to tell family and friends. The situation will most likely become much more frustrating if your family members feel as if they can’t properly communicate with your parent. When you tell others, you might also want to give them suggestions on how they can effectively communicate with your parent without demeaning or embarrassing him or her.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior care. Rocklin families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
4. Minimize Background Noise
Many forms of hearing loss become much worse when there’s any type of background noise. Noises that seem quiet to you could make it nearly impossible for your parent to hold a conversation. Examples include noise from televisions, radios, cars driving by, and other people having conversations. When you’re talking with your parent, make sure you speak clearly and face him or her the entire time.
5. Use Nonverbal Cues
As your parent grows older, his or her hearing loss could become worse, which is when nonverbal cues will become extremely important. You might not realize just how much information is conveyed when you point at something or make gestures with your hands. Some experts also suggest older adults who are living with hearing loss begin carrying note cards with them at all times. These cards will allow them to better communicate in noisy environments.
There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional home care services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place. If your senior loved one needs assistance with the challenges of aging, reach out to one of our knowledgeable, compassionate Care Managers today at 916.226.3737.