As your parent’s caregiver, you might have begun to suspect that your parent is struggling with hearing loss. One in three older adults between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss, while almost half of adults over the age of 75 have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss can come quickly or slowly and in aging parents, it often comes slowly, making it hard to discover if hearing loss is the actual problem or if something else is going on.
As a caregiver, if you notice some of the following behaviors, you might want to initiate a conversation with your elderly parent about having her hearing checked by a professional.
- Struggling to participate in phone conversations
If your parent is asking you to repeat yourself often on phone calls or replying with answers that aren’t relevant to the conversation, it may be that she is having a hard time hearing you. Sometimes an easy first solution is to have your parent turn up the volume on her phone but that may only be a band-aid to a larger problem of hearing loss.
- Finding it difficult to follow conversations when two or more people are talking
When in a group setting, if you notice your parent engaging less is larger conversations, it doesn’t necessarily indicate anti-social behavior or boredom. It could be that her hearing no longer is able to process all of the different variables of speech occurring at once. Ask other caregivers or even your home care provider if they have noticed this happening.
- Asking people to repeat what they just said
This starts to happen especially when your parent isn’t ready for a conversation to start. Your parent might have gradually learned to really focus on a voice to hear what is said and an impromptu conversation is likely to catch him off guard and unable to hear what was said. While this can happen to everyone occasionally, look for an increase in these instances to possibly indicate a hearing loss.
- Watching TV at a volume level that is overwhelmingly loud
If you or a home care provider walks in on your parent and the television is loudly blasting the news, your parent might be struggling with hearing loss. Depending on your parent’s vision, closed captions might help with this problem until a more permanent solution can be found.
- Having a problem hearing when there’s a lot of background noise
If participating in a conversation while at a restaurant or ball game is difficult, it could indicate the start of hearing loss. As a caregiver, be aware of situations that can create difficulty for your parent to hear and see if you can create more quiet spaces for conversions.
- Struggling with hearing certain types of voices, such as women’s voices and children’s voices
Age often leads to loss of being able to hear high-pitched sounds such as women’ and children’s voices. If you notice your parent can hear only deep voices well, this may be the problem.
Hearing loss doesn’t have to stop one from enjoying life. As your parent’s caregiver, start this conversation and then schedule an appointment with your family doctor. She might be able to diagnose the problem simply or she may refer your parent to a specialist to provide guidance for better hearing days ahead.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Home Care in Haverford, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Suma Home Care.
Call today: (484) 206-4544
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