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Blog Feature

By: Marissa Salvesen on October 18th, 2013

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Seniors: Dealing with Hearing Loss

assisted living | 60-day stay trial | hearing loss | senior hearing loss | Aging & Caregiving

United Methodist Homes-Dealing with Hearing LossDealing with hearing loss is never easy, especially for an aging loved one. If you are dealing with hearing loss yourself, you have probably noticed how easy it is to withdraw when it becomes difficult to follow a conversation at a family gathering or any social event. Listening to a speaking presentation, many seniors have experienced confusion, embarrassment, or loneliness in trying to catch all of the words that are being spoken. In addition, as

the aging process moves along, it is not uncommon for many families to view certain behavior as signs of depression, moodiness or disinterest rather than a hearing problem.

You are Not Alone!

If you are one of the many Americans who deal with hearing loss or if your loved one has begun to show signs of hearing difficulties, you are not alone. About one-third of Americans between the ages of 65 and 74 experience some type of hearing problems. Half of all seniors who are 85 years and older cope with hearing loss (called presbycusis) and face the same challenges every day. Check out the following tips for yourself or a loved one…….

Your First Steps to Dealing with Hearing Loss

If you are having trouble hearing, the first step is to visit your doctor and find a specialist who can give you the best advice. Depending on the type and extent of your hearing loss, you may be able to get treatment right away. Today, several treatment options are available, including more sophisticated forms of hearing aids.

Five Telltale Signs of a Hearing Problem…

  • You need to turn up the television so loud that others complain.
  • You have the sense that others are mumbling, particularly women and children.
  • You encounter continual background noise, like a ringing or roaring inside your ears that prevents you from hearing others.
  • On the telephone, you have difficulty hearing others.
  • You strain to follow a discussion when it involves two or more people.

What to do next...

After a visit to your physician and acknowledging that you have a hearing problem, let others know. Don’t let the wrong assumptions of others cause you embarrassment or isolation. Experts recommend that you:

  • Let people know you are having trouble hearing.
  • Show them what helps to increase your participation in a discussion such as: ask others to speak deliberately without shouting and not hide their mouths (or chew gum) while talking.
  • Be attentive to facial expressions and gestures. These are clues to help you stay on track in the conversation.
  • Let individuals know when you don’t understand. People are usually willing to repeat or restate a thought once you show interest.

Hearing loss doesn’t have to get into the way of your or your loved one’s your ability to enjoy life. Seeking professional help, adapting to the changes and enlisting the cooperation of others can help restore your confidence. 

Key Takeaways:

  • About one-third of Americans ages 65 to 74 have hearing problems and half of all seniors 85 years and older have hearing loss (called presbycusis).
  • It’s easy for families to view certain behavior as signs of depression, moodiness or disinterest rather than a problem with your hearing.
  • If you are having trouble hearing, see your doctor first. Depending on the extent of your hearing loss, you may be able to get treatment right away.
  • Experts recommend that you let others know that you have a hearing problem. Let them know how they can increase your participation in a discussion.
  • Be attentive to facial expressions and gestures. These are clues to help you stay on track of the conversation.

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About Marissa Salvesen

My journey into the world of senior living began when I started working for United Methodist Homes in 2010. Starting as an Activities Director at one of our-winning assisted and independent living communities and then transitioning to Marketing and Promotions Manager for UMH, I now work as the Manager of Mission Development, fostering the Mission and Values of our organization. I love sharing stories about the many ways we build meaningful relationships and enrich the lives of those we serve, and am proud to be part of building UMH’s 140-year legacy of caring. Wondering what makes our communities such special places to live and work? Connect with me and find out!

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