Hearing loss can be a complicated health issue for your elderly family member.
It can lead to bigger problems, such as cognitive changes and even depression, so it’s important to understand as much as possible about hearing loss.
Why Is Hearing Loss a Problem?
Hearing loss is a problem for older adults for a variety of reasons, chiefly because it makes communication more difficult. Socializing can become more difficult as a result, leading to isolation and depression. Something that a lot of people don’t realize, though, is that hearing loss affects the brain significantly. In someone who has always been a hearing person, the hearing loss puts a tremendous cognitive load on the brain. It’s working harder than ever to figure out how to hear. The parts of her brain that handled hearing before may also start to atrophy because they’re not able to do their job.
What Causes Hearing Loss?
Damage due to loud sounds over a period of time is one cause of hearing loss. That type of hearing loss is usually something your senior knows about, though, like working around heavy machinery for years. Other types of hearing loss can be caused by health conditions or brain injuries. There is also a version of age-related hearing loss, called presbycusis.
What Does Hearing Loss Look Like?
Hearing loss can present in a variety of ways for your senior. You might notice that your elderly family member’s television is getting louder and louder all the time, or that she has a difficult time with phone conversations. Some other symptoms of hearing loss can be frequently misunderstanding what people are saying, especially if their voices are in higher registers, or avoiding situations where she might have to try to filter conversations.
What Can You Do for Your Senior?
The first thing to do is to talk to your senior’s doctor. Your elderly family member’s doctor can perform tests to determine the extent of the hearing loss and possibly to narrow down a cause. Your senior may also need to visit an audiologist for further evaluation. Some people with hearing loss do very well with hearing aids, but that’s not always helpful. There may be other solutions that are more helpful for your elderly family member, so don’t give up.
Your elderly family member might benefit from having elder care providers with her more often, especially as she runs errands and goes out in public. It can be frustrating to feel cut off from communicating with others, and elder care providers understand that.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Sacramento, CA, talk to the caring staff at Partners in Care today. Serving El Dorado, Nevada, Yuba, Sutter, Sacramento, Placer, Butte, Glenn, Yolo, & Colusa Counties! Call us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! (530) 268-7423
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