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Hearing Loss Prevention

By Valerie Thelen, Staff Writer

(Page 2 of 3)
 

Second, many seniors are concerned with spending money. They may say, “It would cost too much to get a hearing aid!” The commitment associated with hearing aids or other devices is looked at as permanent and thus, a large cost. A caregiver must realize that while this is true, a quality of life has its own cost. Both caregiver and loved one must weigh their options once a hearing loss is diagnosed.

And third, people of all ages are worried about appearing “old.” A hearing aid only increases that perception in many minds. The NFCA advises caregivers to remind a loved one that continually asking people to repeat themselves and being left out of conversation can be a more visible indicator of age than a hearing aid. Also, with today’s technology, hearing aids are less imposing and noticeable than ever before.

If a caregiver is prepared to thwart excuses with a little preparation before, a loved one will feel that their caregiver is competent, educated and safe to care for them. It will instill a confidence in a loved one when a caregiver is knowledgeable and organized.

Maintenance

There are many ways to protect a loved one’s hearing and make living with the condition as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.

First, don’t shout! Many caregivers may think that talking louder and slower is helpful, but in actuality, it distorts the conversation even more for a person with hearing loss. Professionals suggest speaking at a normal speed and tone, with small modifications, is best.

Background noise is a huge deterrent for loved ones with hearing loss. Try to eliminate these distractions as much as possible. If at home and having a conversation, turn off the TV or radio, fan or other electric device. Shut windows if traffic noise is an issue.

After the noise is limited and a conversation can occur, talking face-to-face is best. A group setting may be hard for a person with hearing loss to catch multiple conversations.

In addition to these talking tips, there is some physical maintenance which can help maintain a loved one’s hearing. A caregiver can start by scheduling a yearly physical. Many times, caregivers are running a loved one to the doctor for a variety of ailments. However, a yearly physical is one appointment not to be overlooked. This is the best way to detect and also prevent many medical problems.

Just as a person makes a yearly trip to the eye doctor and needs a prescription to buy new glasses, every person in their senior years should have their ears checked as well. A hearing test will reveal what a loved one may have been “missing” and not even known.

 

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