How In-Home Care Can Assist Seniors with Hearing Loss Issues

How In-Home Care Can Assist Seniors with Hearing Loss Issues

 March 16, 2023

A man with glasses and a woman are talking

According to the National Institute of Aging, one in three adults aged 65-74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those over 75 have difficulty hearing. Despite these statistics, many hearing issues go unnoticed, especially in seniors who live alone. Monitoring of hearing issues and other common concerns that come with aging can occur with in-home care professionals added to seniors’ daily routines.

Addressing the Issue Early Is Crucial

Some people might not realize that the term “if you don’t use it, you will lose it” applies to hearing as well. They also might not understand that the ability to hear isn’t solely dependent on the ear. The brain is needed as well. When the auditory cortex stops receiving messages, its functioning decreases, causing difficulty in processing messages.

For this reason, noticing hearing loss as early as possible is important to decrease further loss. Also, seniors with hearing issues tend to withdraw socially, which can lead to depression and limited use of the sense, furthering the impact on the auditory cortex.

Be Proactive When Discussing Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, hearing loss is one of those things that might fly under the radar during routine check-ups. Loved ones need to assess the situation with seniors and their in-home care providers to discuss concerns with medical professionals. The key here is working with the home care team, as many seniors might immediately overlook an issue with hearing loss.

Not Everyone Will Benefit From Hearing Aids

Hearing aids have wonderful success for many people but are not the only option. Nor are they the best option for some. The issues with hearing aids are that they take time and practice to work effectively. This might be a problem for seniors who live alone or have cognitive issues such as memory loss. For seniors to properly adjust and use their hearing aids, they must actively be involved in conversations. This can occur on a more frequent basis when they remain socially active or have an in-home care professional working with them.

Additionally, seniors must maintain hearing aids, including changing batteries, making necessary adjustments, and updating or keeping track of the devices. Seniors might also feel embarrassed wearing hearing aids and tend only to use them when multiple people are around. This slows the adjustment process and increases their frustration with hearing aids.

Multiple devices are available for hearing loss, including assistive devices for electronics and amplification devices. Paying attention to the environment also helps ensure the area for conversation is quiet and that seniors are facing those speaking.

Age-Related Hearing Loss Causes Distortion

Seniors often become frustrated when asked if they can hear. The problem isn’t whether they can hear; they do not understand what is being said. Age-related hearing loss affects how speech is perceived, leading to distortion. This distortion is especially evident with high-frequency sounds.

This situation is explained further when loved ones understand that many consonants are considered high-frequency, meaning that much of the speech seniors interact with is distorted. Additionally, younger voices are often high-pitched, furthering the inability to process what is being said.

In-home care professionals can help monitor situations with hearing loss to ensure that concerns are addressed quickly. Although hearing loss is common with age, some steps can be taken to ensure a proper understanding of the situation and devices that can help with loss. As hearing loss can lead to depression and safety issues, it is essential to monitor this issue consistently.

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring In-Home Care in Oakland, PA, please contact the caring staff at In-Home Quality Care today. Serving the Greater Pittsburgh Area since 1990! Call 412-421-5202

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