Guide for Caregivers of People with Hearing Loss

Do you care for someone with hearing loss? Click to read more about our guide for caregivers of people with hearing loss.

Guide for Caregivers of People with Hearing Loss

Are you a caregiver for someone who you suspect has a hearing loss? If you are, it’s important to understand that a hearing loss, whether it’s being treated or not, comes with other implications. The hearing loss has to be factored into the equation for everyday situations, such as communicating with loved ones, doctor’s appointments, or watching TV / listening to the radio.

First, it’s important to know that hearing loss in seniors increases their risk of other health problems, both emotional and physical. Falling is a concern with all seniors, but even a mild hearing loss can increase a person’s risk of falling up to 3 times. Hearing loss can also have an impact on a person’s quality of life, as many people with hearing loss find themselves increasingly socially withdrawn. This can lead to feelings of isolation and potentially lead to depression.

Untreated hearing loss also has an impact on cognitive function. A John Hopkins study found that age-related cognitive decline increases by as much as 30-40% in people with untreated hearing loss. As most general practitioners do not screen for hearing loss on a routine basis, it’s often caregivers that carry the responsibility of addressing concerns around an individual’s hearing health.

It’s often the caregiver who will raise concerns about someone’s hearing during a regular check up with a general practitioner. It’s also often a family member who insists on making an appointment with a hearing care professional.

Recognizing the Signs of Hearing Loss

We recommend making an appointment with your local hearing care professional if the person you are caring for:

  • Frequently asks you or others to repeat themselves.
  • Reports that sounds are muffled.
  • Has to set the volume on the TV far higher than they used to.
  • Appears more withdrawn.
  • Seems to have difficulty hearing if there is background noise.
  • Has difficulty distinguishing certain sounds, such as “K” and “T”.

In most cases, hearing loss is treatable. If you suspect a hearing loss, book in a hearing assessment as soon as possible.

Hearing Loss Communication Tips:

If you are caring for someone with a hearing loss, here are some communication tips to help:

  • Be patient. Hearing loss can be frustrating for both people, but it’s important to be patient.
  • Learn about the difficulties hearing loss presents. This will help you to empathize with the potential emotional and psychological difficulties.
  • See if there are any local resources in your area for people with a hearing loss and / or their caregivers.
  • Pay attention to situations that could worsen the hearing loss. These can include dangerous noise levels or in some cases, ototoxic medications.
  • When communicating, face the person you are speaking to. This helps lip reading

If the person you are caring for has to wear hearing aids, our Hearing Aid Maintenance Guide includes tips to help look after the hearing aids.

We’re Here to Help!

Still have questions? Want to have your hearing checked? At Hearing Balance & Speech Center, we are committed to all of your hearing healthcare needs. Contact us at Hearing, Balance, & Speech Center to speak with one of our hearing professionals.

Sources

  1. https://www.alegrecare.com/single-post/2018/04/21/Caregiver-Tips-How-to-Cope-with-Hearing-Loss
  2. http://www.caregiverslibrary.org/caregivers-resources/grp-disabilities/hsgrp-hearing-impairment/hearing-impairment-and-caregiving-article.aspx