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Impact of Hearing Loss on an Older Adult’s Independence

By , 9:00 am on

Hearing loss is a common symptom of aging, and it often goes untreated. The health issue can negatively impact a senior’s quality of life. Here’s what you need to know about hearing loss and its impact on an older adult’s independence.

Leads to Social Withdrawal

Hearing loss often impacts a senior’s social life. If your loved one has to ask you to repeat every sentence, he or she may begin to feel like a burden in social situations. Instead of reaching out for help, your parent may withdraw from social gatherings. In other cases, seniors overcompensate for their hearing loss by talking loudly. Whether your loved one hides hearing loss by shying away from society or overcompensating, he or she may seem disoriented or inattentive to friends and family members.

For families living in Edmonton, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

Increases the Risk of Medication Mishaps

Older adults with hearing loss may face difficulty listening to instructions and processing crucial information. For example, your loved one might nod his or her head as the pharmacist goes over the dosage instructions, hoping to end the interaction as quickly as possible. If the hearing loss causes your parent to miss important information like proper dosage instructions, it could put him or her in danger.

Raises Safety Concerns

Seniors with moderate-to-severe hearing impairment often have difficulty listening to smoke detectors, fire alarms, car horns, and doorbells. If your loved one is unable to hear these basic warning signs, it could put his or her life at risk. To remain independent, your parent needs to be able to avoid basic safety hazards. Because hearing loss impedes the ability to stay safe, it can affect the ability to stay independent.

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 Edmonton senior home 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.

What Caregivers Can Do

If you suspect your loved one is developing hearing loss, schedule an appointment with his or her primary care practitioner or an audiologist. A doctor can determine the extent of the hearing loss as well as its cause. Most seniors are affected by sensorineural hearing loss, where damage to the inner ear and auditory nerve impedes hearing. In some cases, seniors develop conductive hearing loss, which can be reversed once the cause is identified. 

In the event the hearing loss is caused by sensorineural damage, there are still ways to enhance a senior’s quality of life. Hearing aids increase the ability to communicate with friends and family members. Amplified telephones and TV listening systems may also be beneficial for older adults with hearing impairment.

Caring for older adults with hearing loss can be a difficult task, especially when it’s managed alone. If you are the primary family caregiver for an elderly loved one and need additional assistance providing high-quality home care, Edmonton Home Care Assistance can help. We are a leading home care agency committed to changing the way seniors age. Whether your parent needs minor help with daily tasks or extensive 24-hour care, call us at (780) 490-7337 today.