Hearing loss can stress not only the older adult, but the rest of the family.
Before my dad got his hearing aids a few years ago, I found myself losing patience with having to SHOUT EVERYTHING AND E-NUN-CI-ATE EV-ER-Y SIN-GLE SYL-LABLE.
But hearing loss is more than frustrating and inconvenient for sufferers and their families. It can have serious health repercussions.
Anyone who has experienced dizziness from an ear infection understands that the ears play a role in balance. Studies have shown that hearing loss can triple the risk of falling, which can seriously injure older adults, who might have brittle bones.
Researchers have also linked a higher risk of dementia with hearing loss. They theorize that hearing-impaired adults become socially isolated, which is a risk factor for dementia – and depression, which can compromise physical health.
Yet, doctors find that adults experiencing hear loss tend to wait seven to ten years before seeking help. Some of the issue is stigma and sometimes it’s cost, which can run thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, Medicare and most insurance does not cover these devices. However, you might be able to work out a payment plan if you ask.
An inability to clearly hear and understand his granddaughters helped spur my dad to get hearing aids. These days, the only shouting at family gatherings involves hotly contested Uno games.