Hearing loss is a very common issue throughout the United States. Experts estimate that 20 percent of the population, approximately 48 million people, are currently living with some degree of hearing loss. This loss can make a tremendous impact on your aging parent, influencing their health, functioning, and quality of life. One way that it is particularly impactful is in how they are able to interact with family and friends. Not being able to hear properly can make it more difficult for your parent to follow conversations, and they may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed by having to ask people to repeat what they said, or to misunderstand what was said to them. As their family caregiver, you can help your parent to maintain better relationships and bonds with their friends and family, preserve their mental and emotional health, and encourage more interaction and activity simply by helping them to cope with this sensory loss.
Some ways you can help your aging parent better interact with their friends and family while they are coping with hearing loss include:
- Remove distractions as much as possible when they are talking with others. Turn off the TV, and put down phones to focus completely on the conversation.
- Encourage everyone to look directly at your senior when they are speaking to them, and to avoid turning their head away from your parent, as this can make it more difficult for your parent to hear them.
- Discourage groups from carrying on more than one conversation at a time. This can get confusing, and make it difficult for your parent to follow the conversation they are supposed to be a part of.
- While you might need to elevate your voice slightly, avoid yelling or shouting at your parent, as this is embarrassing, and might make your parent less likely to want to interact.
- Enunciation is important, but discourage over-pronouncing, or speaking too slowly. This can actually make it more difficult for your parent to understand what is being said.
- If your parent has been fitted with hearing aids, make sure they wear them, and that they are at an appropriate volume. If they have not yet been fitted, encourage them to visit the doctor so they can determine if a hearing adaptive device is right for them.
As a family caregiver, it is easy to feel as though you need to take on all of your parent's care yourself, particularly when you are able to be with them. This, however, is not necessarily the case. Having a home care provider as a part of your care approach for your parents, even during situations when you are with your senior, can be tremendously beneficial to both of you. An in-home senior care services provider can be with your senior during family events, activities, and outings, to provide them at continuous access to the level of care, support, and assistance they need to manage their challenges effectively. This allows your senior to participate in the activity as much as is appropriate for them, while still being able to manage their needs, and receive support. For you, this means knowing your senior is safe, healthy, and comfortable, and being able to enjoy the activity, and care for your children throughout the event.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering caregivers in Littleton, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today. Call us at (303) 756-9322.