Recognizing and Helping Residents with Hearing Problems
If you ever watched a comedic sitcom or movie on television, you likely seen this common scene. An elderly person loses their hearing aid, causing them to mishear certain lines from another character. As a result, a comedic situation is played out. However, it’s only a satirization of a subject that we take very seriously here at Heritage Oaks Assisted Living & Memory Care here in Englewood. Approximately 10,000 Americans become sixty-five every day, so the need for recognizing, understanding, and treating hearing loss is increasingly important.
Understanding Hearing Loss for Seniors
Due to misconceptions of hearing loss, most people don’t know the truth and facts about the subject. The reality is that we will all experience some form of hearing loss at some point of our life. It will also be in varying degrees. The reason why is because of the biological change a person experiences as they grow older. However, because of public perception, people don’t realize the facts about this ongoing health issue for seniors. Here’s what people should know about hearing loss.
- Hearing loss is a serious concern among all seniors. After arthritis and heart disease, the loss of hearing is the most common public health issues among the elderly population.
- The loss of hearing is considered an “invisible condition”, meaning we can only see its effects, not its physical form. Because of its invisibility, this causes seniors to experience confusion, changes in personality, and other emotional/mental issues. As a result, people tend to confuse hearing loss with dementia.
- For most adults and seniors, the most common causes for hearing loss is exposure to amounts of noise and changes in the body (due to aging).
- The most common noises that lead to progressive hearing loss vary. It can come from exposure due to work (like using lawn mowers, heavy machinery, etc.), exposure from civic duty (such as experiencing explosions while serving in the military), or from everyday leisure activities (like listening to loud music).
- Other reasons for hearing losses among seniors (especially those in elderly assisted living care) can be due to improper ear cleaning. Hearing loss can be caused by earwax buildup, obstructed objects in the ear, ruptured eardrums, or other conditions in the middle/inner ear.
Aside for the medical issues that hearing loss can bring, it can also bring on several emotional problems for seniors. Due to most seniors feeling embarrassed by their conditions, they tend to resort to defensive mechanisms and deny their conditions publicly. For example, an assisted living resident here at Heritage Oaks might begin to avoid social gatherings because of their hearing loss. But our caring assisted living professionals are trained and attentive to both the tell-tale signs of diminished hearing and related behavioral changes like new tendencies to isolate themselves from others.
It’s powerfully rewarding providing loving assistance to our cherished residents. Helping residents and their families recognize the need for initial or recurring hearing treatment is an important aspect of enriching the quality of life of those we serve. To learn more about our approach to professional assisted living and professional memory care services, call us anytime!