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If a loved one has recently been diagnosed with hearing loss, now is a perfect time to reach out and provide help through what may be a tough transition. Assisting your loved ones in managing their hearing loss is essential for establishing a positive quality of life, whether they live independently or in assisted care.
Help them use their hearing aids.
You can give your loved one all of the advice in the world, but it won’t help them unless they use their hearing aids correctly. Hearing loss that is not addressed is linked to mental health problems such as depression, loneliness, and anxiety. Hearing loss can also exacerbate and compound cognitive problems. Hearing aids help to reduce the effects of untreated hearing loss and keep those you care about connected to the world.
Inquire if your loved ones use their hearing aids daily, and if they don’t, inquire further about their reasons for not using them. It’s possible that their hearing aids were not correctly fitted or programmed for their hearing loss. If this is the case, assist them in scheduling a follow-up consultation with their hearing healthcare provider. If at all possible, accompany them to their appointment to support them in making the necessary changes.
There are several other explanations why a hearing aid can be left unused. Your loved one may be having difficulties adjusting to the sound or feel of hearing aids. Reading aloud to each other or following the dialogue on a favorite television show may help them adjust to using their hearing aids in a low-pressure social setting.
Support them in understanding that using hearing aids becomes easier over time. Remind them how much you value your relationship with them and how hearing aids can help you communicate effectively at all times.
They may also have difficulty keeping their hearing aid in good working order. When you visit, help them clean their hearing aids and check any batteries to ensure they are in good working order.
Advocate for your loved one
We all want to be there for the people we care about, but that isn’t always possible. Fortunately, even if you are unavailable, your loved one likely has access to people and resources who can assist them. Learn about the people who will be caring for your loved one in the hospital, doctor’s office, or care facility. Keep the workers informed about their hearing loss and advocate for their welfare. Ask the staff to help you ensure that your loved one’s hearing disability is monitored and addressed, especially if assistance is required to wear the hearing aid or change the battery correctly.
Request that the staff keeps you informed of any changes in your loved one’s well-being. This can include social withdrawal and isolation, as well as confusion or a worsening of cognitive problems.
Take measures to protect your loved one’s hearing aids.
Small, inconspicuous devices, such as hearing aids, can easily get lost in the shuffle or even thrown away accidentally in care homes. Make it easy for your loved ones to keep their devices by making them easy to find and difficult to lose.
Personal belongings, including hearing aids, must be labeled in a long-term care facility. Take the time to write your loved one’s name or initials in permanent ink on their hearing aids. Even for small hearing devices, a distinguishing mark on the outer casing, such as a brightly colored dot, can help the device be noticed and returned to the right person.
Accessories are also available to prevent hearing aids from being lost. Consider investing in a retainer cord to keep your loved one’s hearing aids in place. A retainer cord for a hearing aid works similarly to a neck cord for glasses, clipping the device to its owner so it can’t get away.
Are you concerned about your hearing? Our knowledgeable staff will conduct a thorough hearing examination and recommend a tailored treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.