Hearing loss is common among seniors, and most older adults have some degree of this condition. While people tend to think hearing is all about having conversations, the truth is losing the ability to hear well affects many parts of a senior’s life. If your aging loved one has hearing loss, be aware of these potential negative effects so you can take the appropriate actions to avoid them.
1. Not Hearing Warning Alarms
Many seniors take out their hearing devices before they go to sleep. While this may increase their comfort, it also places their safety at risk, since they cannot hear smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Seniors with profound hearing loss may also miss important alarms during the day as well. Look for special alarms that vibrate or use flashing lights to alert your loved one that something is wrong.
A professional caregiver can provide a sense of safety for your loved one with hearing loss. For many seniors in Anchorage, AK, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
2. Mishearing Important Instructions
Your loved one’s hearing devices may not always help him or her hear everything perfectly. Some seniors also prefer to turn their devices off in crowded areas. These issues can cause seniors to be unable to hear essential information. For instance, your parent may mishear what the pharmacist says about a new medication. Always ask your loved one to repeat instructions back to the person giving them. If necessary, you or another caregiver should follow up to make sure the instructions are understood.
3. Getting into More Car Accidents
Drivers rely on their sense of hearing to know what’s going on around them. With hearing loss, your loved one might not hear a horn honking, or he or she may completely miss an ambulance’s siren until seeing the vehicle closing in from behind. Ask your loved one if he or she feels uncomfortable driving or has difficulty with hearing street and vehicle noises. If your loved one is unable to hear what’s happening when driving, consider other transportation options.
In-home caregivers can provide transportation as well as a variety of other types of support for seniors who are adjusting to the effects of hearing loss. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional elderly home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
4. Becoming Isolated
Hearing loss also affects the ability to socialize. Misunderstandings during conversations are embarrassing, and diminished hearing may cause your loved one to fear looking silly or as though he or she has memory loss. Try to plan social activities for your loved one that help him or her feel safe, such as eating a meal with the same person regularly.
5. Experiencing More Frustration
Despite what some people may believe, seniors don’t typically end up cranky just because they’re getting older. Instead, negative emotions and behaviors are usually reactions to frustration that builds up as they try to manage their daily responsibilities with disabilities. After misunderstanding conversations or having a scare while driving, it’s easy to see why your loved one may seem angry.
Watch for signs of frustration in your loved one. If your parent’s current hearing devices don’t seem to work, schedule a checkup to see if a new plan is needed. Then make sure your loved one has someone around who can serve as an extra set of ears.
Hearing loss is a common occurrence in aging adults, but it doesn’t have to keep them from enjoying the things they love and spending their golden years in the safety and comfort of home. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality homecare. Anchorage families trust Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To learn about our premier in-home care plans and how they can help your loved one, give us a call at (907) 770-0907 today.