Caregivers: Does Your Elderly Parent Have Hearing Problems?

Health & Medical Blog

If your elderly loved one begins to ignore you or act out, you might blame it on a decline in mental capacity or health. Although dementia, Alzheimer's disease, and other memory-related conditions can affect a person's ability to communicate or behave, they're not always the main cause of it. Here are signs of hearing loss you can look for in your elderly parent and how you can help them overcome it.

What Are the Signs of Hearing Loss?

Hearing loss doesn't always occur from listening to loud sounds or receiving injuries to the eardrum. The condition can also be age-related. A number of older adults experience hearing loss during the aging process. The tissues inside the ear can change or deteriorate over time, or the brain can experience problems processing or picking up different sounds.

Hearing loss may not be apparent at first. But as time goes by, a loss of hearing can affect make your loved one appear as though they're ignoring you during conversations. The sounds the person does hear may seem muffled or stifled. Your loved one may not understand what you're saying to them.

As a caregiver, you might feel discouraged, or even upset, about your loved one's behavior. You may even report the changes in behavior to your elderly charge's doctor. If the doctor doesn't suspect that your loved one's health has declined, they may suggest that you check the person's hearing.

How Can You Help Your Elderly Loved One?

If possible, take your loved one to an audiologist for a hearing test. An audiologist (hearing specialist) will perform several tests on your loved one's ears, including a whispered voice test. The test may check your loved one's ability to hear at different voice or sound levels. The doctor may also test your elderly parent's hearing at close range or at a distance. 

If your loved one does have hearing loss, a specialist may provide them with hearing aids. Hearing aids can help your loved one pick up sounds and hear voices at different levels, even from a distance. 

You should monitor your loved one's progress throughout their care. Report any changes in the individual's hearing as soon as possible. The aging process can cause new changes in your elderly charge's hearing, so it's important to address these changes immediately after they occur. 

You can obtain additional information about age-related hearing loss by contacting an audiologist today.


11 November 2017