Here at The Birches at Villa Rica Assisted Living and Memory Care, our team of professional memory care and assisted living care providers constantly seek ways to improve the quality of life of our residents, their family, and their friends. Today’s blog addresses one of the most prolific thieves of quality of life, untreated hearing loss. There are many different causes of hearing loss, and in many cases, hearing loss is something that happens steadily over time. This can make it difficult to notice. For many of us, the idea of getting our hearing checked can be frightening.
If you think a loved one might be suffering from hearing loss, however, it is important to get it checked out, as being hard of hearing without seeking help can be quite isolating. Here are four signs to look out for in your loved ones that you suspect might be hard of hearing.
1. They often complain that other people are mumbling.
If your loved one is suffering some hearing loss, to them, it does sound like others are mumbling. Try speaking a little slower, making sure to clearly enunciate your words, and see if that helps them. Louder is not always better — be sure you are looking at them so they can also see your mouth and lips moving as you speak. If your family member is still struggling to understand what you are saying, the problem likely is their hearing, not your speaking style.
2. They have a difficult time hearing women’s or children’s voices.
The pitch range of most women and children’s voices is a higher frequency than that of most men, and women and children tend to speak more softly than men, as well. High-frequency hearing loss is the most common type of hearing loss. If your loved one is having trouble hearing women and children when speaking, it might be time to suggest an appointment with a specialist.
3. They answer inappropriately to questions or seem to be answering another question.
If such odd answers are an increasingly common occurrence, try asking the same question again, looking your loved one directly in the eye and speaking a little more slowly. If they can understand and answer the right question when you take extra steps, it might be time to consider a checkup.
4. They avoid social situations or frequently miss phone calls or a ringing doorbell.
It is common for people experiencing hearing loss to withdraw because they are worried about not being able to hear conversations, whether in person or on the phone. Talk to your loved one, either in person in a quieter setting or even via email if they use that and see if there might be other reasons for their isolation. If not, it could be time to talk to them about hearing loss options.
If you have any questions regarding your loved one’s real or suspected hearing loss here at The Birches, contact us anytime. We will be glad to consult you regarding how to address the subject with your loved one and the local options that you have for professional hearing treatment services.