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Elderly Care Tips: Early Intervention for Hearing Loss

Elderly Care in Westwood, MA

Doctor checking elderly patient's earAmong the most troublesome chronic conditions facing elderly adults, hearing loss is among the most prevalent. Studies show that approximately one third of seniors between the ages of 65 and 74 suffer from some degree of hearing loss. That percentage jumps to half when it gets to seniors who are age 75 and older. This means that a large portion of the aging population have difficulty hearing and may experience diminished quality of life because of it. Fortunately, early intervention within your elderly care journey with your seniors can protect them from further hearing loss and boost their ability to manage the hearing loss that they have already experienced.

Like most other conditions and health concerns, early detection and intervention are vital to the management and treatment of hearing loss among aging adults. Recognizing the risk factors for hearing decline and understanding how those risk factors relate to your parents’ hearing abilities can help you to make changes within your elderly care efforts, as well as work with their healthcare team to develop a course of treatment and management that will help them to avoid further hearing loss and problems.

Some things that you should know about early intervention for the prevention or management of hearing loss include:

  • Age-related factors. Some factors that contribute to hearing loss are associated with age. These include physical changes within the ear and cognitive processing changes that may impact the interpretation of sound stimuli.
  • Non-age related factors. Other factors associated with hearing loss are not necessarily associated with your parents’ age. These include genetic influences, high blood pressure, extended exposure to extreme noise levels, diabetes, kidney disease, injury, or illness.
  • Sudden deafness may be treatable. Sudden deafness may seem like a drastic and life-changing event for your aging loved one, but early and prompt intervention may be able to help. Research shows that treatment by an ear, nose, and throat specialist, known as an otolaryngologist, may result in the partial or full recovery of hearing for up to 85 percent of the older adults who seek the treatment. This could be as simple as changing a medication or treating an injury.
  • Early intervention for other types of hearing loss. Early medical intervention is not just available for people who have suffered sudden or quick-onset deafness. As there are many other causes and degrees of hearing loss, there are also many different types of early intervention. It is important to talk to your parents’ doctor as soon as they start to notice changes in their hearing so that the doctor can identify the specific cause of the hearing loss and devise a course of intervention to ease this condition.
  • Address emotional implications. One of the greatest barriers to early intervention for hearing loss for older adults is the emotional implications associated with this problem. Many seniors cope with depression, anxiety, embarrassment, and social isolation because of their hearing loss, making them less likely to talk about it. Make an effort to dispel this stigma and make your parents comfortable with their changes so that they are more willing to seek and cooperate with early intervention.

If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073