Every May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, which is a chance for you and your elderly family member to look at how her hearing might impact other parts of her life. Many people don’t realize that hearing loss can have significant social and emotional impacts, including contributing to loneliness and self-isolation. Having senior care to help with this can be a good decision.
Loneliness Is Related to a Lot of Different Factors
There’s no one cause of loneliness, especially for seniors. Having a great number of friends and family that live far away contributes to loneliness. Another big factor is the inability to get out and about as much as in the past. Health issues are another major concern in terms of loneliness. If your elderly family member feels as if her health issues are holding her back or make her stand out in ways she’s uncomfortable with, she may self-isolate.
Social Isolation Can Quickly Follow Loneliness
Isolation doesn’t usually start out with your senior deciding that she never wants to go out or see anyone at all. Typically, the situation occurs gradually over time, and your elderly family member might not even realize what’s happening. She may be lonely at first, and then she may isolate herself as she continues to feel uncomfortable, sad, or even more lonely. Eventually, she may be experiencing other issues, like no longer being able to drive, that complicate the situation even further.
Get Your Senior’s Hearing Tested
It’s really important to know what your elderly family member is up against with her hearing issues. Sometimes hearing loss is actually something else, like auditory processing problems. Without a hearing test, it’s not so easy to know exactly what is going on with your elderly family member’s hearing and how she processes the sounds that she does hear. Her doctor may be able to perform some initial hearing tests but testing with an audiologist is crucial.
Talk with Her Doctor and Audiologist
Once you know what is really happening with your senior’s hearing, both her audiologist and doctor may be able to help offer solutions that make her life easier and safer. If there are other health issues contributing to your senior’s hearing loss, like medications she’s taking that are damaging her hearing, it may be necessary to make some changes. Helping her medical providers to work together gives your senior better results.
Find Other Solutions to Help with Both Hearing Loss and Loneliness
Hiring senior care at home can help your elderly family member to manage both loneliness and hearing loss. Home care providers are well-versed in helping seniors who have all sorts of health issues, including hearing loss. Senior care at home can also help your elderly family member to feel more comfortable engaging in activities again because they can help with transportation and any other concerns your aging family member is experiencing.
Hearing loss doesn’t have to leave your elderly family member feeling lonely and isolated. Finding the right answers for her unique situation can take a little bit of time, but it’s worth that effort.