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Hearing problems can sneak up on a person. If your family member is living alone or isn't in contact often, you may not have realized that their hearing is going. Worse yet, they may not have realized it. Many people don't want to admit at first that they may be having issues with their hearing, as it can make them feel uncomfortable or vulnerable. For that reason, you might have to do a bit of sleuthing to determine whether your loved one really does need a hearing device.
Their TV Volume Is Turned All The Way Up
It's very common that an elderly individual will keep turning the volume on their television up without realizing that their hearing is actually at fault. They may simply think the television is getting softer and softer or that the channel they're watching has a low volume. In more serious cases, they may stop watching the television entirely or they may push their chair up closer to the television to hear.
Their Vehicle Hasn't Been Used In Some Time
Whenever one of our senses -- whether it is hearing, sight or even something else -- begins to go, we can feel insecure and uncertain of our surroundings. One way this can manifest is through limited agoraphobia (not wanting to go anywhere) or more specific tendencies such as not driving a car. Driving a car can be frightening if you can't hear ambient noises!
Notes That Seem Disjointed and Confused
A loss of hearing is often confused with dementia or memory loss for this very reason. An elderly individual may take notes while on the phone that seem to be scattered or confusing, but the reason is because they simply can't hear. Likewise, they may have confused writing in their notebooks or their calendars because they just aren't certain what was going on and they didn't want to keep asking. Even if the problem isn't their hearing, this is still a critical sign that something is wrong.
There are many types of listening devices available on the market today that are a far cry from the cumbersome hearing aids of yore. If you've noticed any of the signs above, the best thing you can do is take your family member to get their hearing professionally tested. Often, that's the only way that you can tell whether they actually need help hearing or whether something more serious (such as dementia) could be at play.Share
16 July 2015