Aging comes with many difficulties. One of them is hearing loss. When one’s hearing is affected, their way of life is also altered. Hearing loss compromises communication and safety. Relationships can sometimes have a strain due to this condition. Frustration sets in both for the elderly and the one they are talking to. As a family member of an elderly person experiencing such, how can you help make it easier for them?
Consult an Expert
The first step in dealing with this difficulty is to know its extent. A reputable ENT doctor in Provo can assist your loved one in this aspect. Some find it hard to accept that they are not as sharp in hearing as before. The elderly person must be willing to have this visit to the doctor to avoid tension.
Prepare two lists. One is about the distinct symptoms that you have observed in your elderly. It may include difficulty keeping up with conversations or having to turn up volumes. Include in this list the onset of such symptoms. Another list that you need to have is questions that you want to ask the doctor. You can also provide the hearing specialist with a pertinent background. Previous jobs or surgeries in the past might help them look for the possible causes of hearing loss.
The otolaryngologist might run some tests to determine what interventions can be done. Having an expert look into this condition is an excellent first step to address the issue.
One must be patient when dealing with an elderly person who has hearing impairment. Aim to communicate well by using a well-modulated voice. Enunciate your words well. Also, take note of your speed in talking. Do not be in a hurry nor talk very slowly. If needed, use hand gestures and more facial expressions. Always include them in conversations. Your senior loved one will appreciate such efforts.
Show more consideration by not bringing them to places with a noisy background. Also, even when you feel frustrated, do not give in to the urge to shout. A raised tone in anger is not lost in the elderly person. They might feel rejected. Also, make it an aim to communicate face to face with maintained eye contact. These small things will help get the message across.
One good way to enable them is not to promote too much dependency. When somebody is talking to them, avoid answering for them. You may repeat what the other person has said. But let your senior loved one answer for themselves.
Connect with the Help of Technology
A hearing aid is the most popular device for such conditions. Other gadgets will help them be more comfortable and functional. Some items use visual cues such as a flashing doorbell or a smoke alarm with strobe lights. Telephones and alarms clocks can alert using vibrations. Amplified telephones can also give them confidence in holding phone conversations. You must encourage your elderly loved one to use other senses to complement or compensate for their hearing.
Consider Outside Assistance
If your elderly loved one is at home alone most of the time, you might want to look for in-home care. This will ensure that they are safe and that they have somebody they can interact with. With a home care service, a level of independence is still present. Your senior loved one will not feel so helpless.
Aging presents many challenges. Negative feelings may arise from these. Love, understanding, and sympathy go a long way for your elderly loved one.