How Hearing Loss Affects Aging Adults

By 9  am 0n

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Hearing acuity often decreases with age. While not typically associated with serious medical problems, hearing loss can significantly impact quality of life. If your senior loved one has hearing loss, he or she may have difficulty with the following situations. 

 

Driving Dangers

It’s essential that all drivers have the ability to hear approaching emergency vehicle sirens and railroad crossing signals. Seniors who are unable to hear well may also be unable to drive or pass tests to renew their driver’s licenses. Have your loved one’s hearing tested by an audiologist to determine if his or her hearing is acute enough to safely operate a motor vehicle.

For your loved one’s long-term needs, including safe, reliable transportation, consider hiring a professional caregiver. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare services families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

 

Social Isolation

Elderly people sometimes avoid social situations because of poor hearing. They may not want their friends or family members to know they’re hard of hearing and therefore avoid situations where they have to respond to questions or otherwise interact. As a result, social isolation and depression can develop. If your loved one is avoiding social situations because of hearing loss, make an appointment with a hearing specialist, who will determine the extent of the hearing loss and, if needed, recommend hearing aids. 

A professional caregiver can be a wonderful source of support and companionship for your loved one. For families living in Miami, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

 

Inability to Hear Telephone Conversations

If your loved one has a cell phone, using speakerphone mode may amplify the sound so he or she can hear better. However, this may not always be effective. Special earbuds can also be purchased that amplify the sound on the phone so your loved one can better understand what the other person is saying.

 

Missed Information from Medical Providers

Optimal hearing is essential for elderly people who visit their healthcare providers alone. Poor hearing may cause your loved one to miss pertinent information from the doctor. If your loved one has hearing deficits, accompany him or her to all medical and dental appointments. If you or another family member or friend cannot do this, ask the physician or nurse if your loved one can use a cell phone to record the visit. This way, you can review the information and reiterate important points to your loved one.

It’s important to note that while many types of hearing loss in elderly people are permanent, some are temporary. For example, if your loved one has a cold or inner ear infection, his or her hearing may be temporarily impaired. After the infection clears, your parent’s hearing may return. Similarly, excessive wax accumulation inside the ear can impair hearing, as can certain medications. Once the doctor removes impacted wax or the medication causing the side effect has been discontinued, hearing may return to normal.

Hearing loss is a common occurrence in aging adults, but it doesn’t have to keep them from enjoying the things they love and spending their golden years in the safety and comfort of home. 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 home care. Miami families trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (305) 574-9137.