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As hearing deteriorates your relationship doesn't have to

Loss of Hearing

Hearing loss is the third most common chronic health problem among older adults. Studies show that about 33% of adults between the ages of 65 and 75 experience hearing loss. Frequently, loss of hearing causes a great deal of frustration and anxiety for older adults, negatively impacting their quality of life. While it is difficult to manage, there are many simple things you can do to help your loved one with hearing loss better cope with this loss.

Home STruggles

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Hearing loss can take both a mental and physical toll on your loved one.  They need your support now more than ever as they navigate this difficult time in their life. 

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Living with Hearing Loss

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Mental Health And

Social Isolation

Many older adults feel shame and embarrassment about losing their hearing, causing them to become withdrawn from friends and family to mask this secret. Sometimes, this can cause our loved ones to feel sad, lonely, or even depressed for extended periods.

  • Remind your loved one that hearing loss is common and normal.
  • Be patient and empathetic with your loved one when you communicate. If they ask you to repeat yourself, don’t get frustrated or upset – this may make them feel guilty for asking.
  • Make yourself easy to talk to by getting their attention first before speaking. Look directly at your loved one and talk loudly, clearly, and in complete sentences.
  • Stay engaged and involved in your loved one’s life. Schedule time with them frequently.
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cognitive decline

Brain Health:

Cognitive Decline

Recent studies suggest that hearing loss in older adults is also associated with cognitive decline. Your loved one may have trouble thinking about or remembering things, causing them to feel stressed and frustrated. Sometimes, this can even lead to challenging behaviors from your loved one.

  • Place sticky notes around your parent’s home with simple daily reminders. These notes will help them remember to complete tasks they might otherwise forget to do.
  • Break down your loved one’s tasks into manageable, bite-sized chunks.
  • Help your loved one maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan – a healthy body can go a long way in preventing cognitive decline!
  • Make sure your loved one has access to stimulating activities to keep their mind active – puzzles, gardening, arts/crafts, and reading can all be beneficial.

Brain Health:

Cognitive Decline

Recent studies suggest that hearing loss in older adults is also associated with cognitive decline. Your loved one may have trouble thinking about or remembering things, causing them to feel stressed and frustrated. Sometimes, this can even lead to challenging behaviors from your loved one.

  • Place sticky notes around your parent’s home with simple daily reminders. These notes will help them remember to complete tasks they might otherwise forget to do.
  • Break down your loved one’s tasks into manageable, bite-sized chunks.
  • Help your loved one maintain a healthy diet and exercise plan – a healthy body can go a long way in preventing cognitive decline!
  • Make sure your loved one has access to stimulating activities to keep their mind active – puzzles, gardening, arts/crafts, and reading can all be beneficial.

Coping With

Household Struggles

Hearing loss can harm your loved one’s ability to live safely and independently in their own home. Ensure your loved one has the tools they need to maintain their dignity and independence as they experience these life changes.

  • If your loved one is having trouble hearing their doorbell, consider installing a video doorbell or one that will flash.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with a flashing strobe light to ensure your loved one receives important safety alerts they need.
  • Consider buying your loved one a vibrating watch as a portable timer.
  • Put a telephone amplifier on your loved one’s phone so that they can enjoy easy access to their phone. Bonus: some even include a flashing ringer to alert your loved one when they are receiving a call.
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Taking In To account

Physical Challenges

Hearing loss can harm your loved one’s ability to live safely and independently in their own home. Ensure your loved one has the tools they need to maintain their dignity and independence as they experience these life changes.

  • If your loved one is having trouble hearing their doorbell, consider installing a video doorbell or one that will flash.
  • Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors with a flashing strobe light to ensure your loved one receives important safety alerts they need.
  • Consider buying your loved one a vibrating watch as a portable timer.
  • Put a telephone amplifier on your loved one’s phone so that they can enjoy easy access to their phone. Bonus: some even include a flashing ringer to alert your loved one when they are receiving a call.

Home Away From Home: Granny Flats

If you thought having your aging parent move into your house was the only alternative to expensive assisted livng facilities when they are no longer able to live independently, you may be the perfect candidate for an ADU, or Accessory Dwelling Unit.  ADUs are also sometimes referred to as granny flats or mother-in-law cottages.  These are small standalone units added to the backyard of an existing single family home, or apartments converted from extra space in the house such as a garage or basement. 

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Product Spotlight: Electronic Caregiver

Marybeth Van Horn, 67, a resident of Denver, Colorado and a nurse of 45 years, has both experienced and heard real-life stories of how health technology can save lives. Five years ago, she slipped on black ice in a parking lot, snapping her femur while mid-air. When she hit the pavement, her wrist broke and her lumbar and cervical vertebra shifted, leaving her on the ground in pain. The incident would leave her hospitalized for a month, and bedridden for three more months. At that time, she did not have Electronic Caregiver’s Premier system or she could have immediately called for emergency help.

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5 Easy Memory Reminders

Memory loss is a common side effect of aging, especially for those approaching the early stages of Dementia. This can be scary and stressful for our elders and their families, but it doesn’t have to mean the end of an independent lifestyle. Actually, by changing habits and introducing what our clinicians call “compensatory skills,” we can help elders avoid the common pitfalls of memory loss and continue to lead happy and healthy lives. I wanted to share a few of these skills, so all of you who are supporting your elders at home can help them thrive.

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