5 Ways Hearing Impairment Impacts Independence in Older Adults

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Seniors with hearing loss often fear losing their independence. However, you can help your aging loved one continue to do the things he or she enjoys by understanding how to counteract the potential negative effects of reduced hearing.

1. Not Feeling Comfortable Driving

Seniors need to be able to rely on all of their senses as they drive. While vision may help your loved one steer the car down a clear path, hearing helps him or her notice potential issues such as a horn warning of an impending collision. Your loved one also needs to be able to hear if the car begins to make strange noises. If your loved one still cannot hear well with hearing aids, he or she may need to have a caregiver step in to provide safe transportation.

Due to other responsibilities, family caregivers may not have sufficient time to drive their loved one when needed. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of Denton elderly care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.

2. Losing the Ability to Communicate with Store Clerks

Even minor hearing loss generates issues with communication. While you and the rest of your family may understand your loved one’s situation, he or she may still encounter awkward situations at the grocery store and other public places. Consider accompanying your loved one on outings, or appoint a caregiver to go along so someone can help your loved one manage important verbal exchanges.

3. Feeling Awkward During Social Situations

Seniors with hearing loss sometimes think they hear better than they do, which can lead to embarrassing communication errors such as calling someone by the wrong name or giving an answer that doesn’t make sense to the listener. When errors such as these occur enough times, your loved one may think he or she has lost social abilities and become isolated as a result. Suggest a hearing test, and your loved one may discover the issue was due to hearing loss.

4. Not Hearing Warning Sounds at Home

One of the most dangerous ways hearing loss affects seniors is by making it difficult to hear alarms at home. For instance, your loved one could sleep right through a smoke alarm warning of a fire. Alternatively, your loved one may not hear a timer telling him or her when to turn off the stove. Look for technological devices that provide multisensory alarms to counteract this issue. For example, some smoke detectors use flashing lights to warn people with hearing loss that they need to evacuate the house.

Caring for a senior with hearing impairment can be challenging. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Denton, TX, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

5. Difficulty Managing Financial Affairs

Seniors must be able to manage basic household responsibilities such as paying bills on time or interacting with a utility company to set up new services. However, seniors with hearing loss may be unable to communicate with a customer service representative on the phone or in person. Help your loved one overcome this challenge by using phone technology that converts audio feedback to text he or she can read. Then, make sure you or a caregiver checks in on your loved one regularly to make sure he or she is capable of handling financial affairs.

Seniors living with hearing loss may need help while aging in place. Aging adults who require assistance with the tasks of daily living can benefit from reliable home care. Denton, TX, families trust in Home Care Assistance to provide the high-quality care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. Our caregivers are trained to help seniors prevent and manage serious illnesses and encourage them to make healthier decisions as they age. Call (972) 468-6010 to speak to a Care Manager and schedule a complimentary consultation.