Managing hearing loss for the elderly

According to Age UK more than 71% of over 70-year-olds and over 41% of over 50-year-olds suffer from some form of hearing loss. For most people who experience it, it is caused by general wear and tear to the tiny hair cells in the inner ear and can be common in elderly people.

It’s not always easy to tell if a loved-one is losing their hearing, however common signs include misunderstanding what you or other people are saying, asking people to repeat themselves, having music or the television at a higher volume than normal and having to concentrate on what a person is saying.

Hearing loss can make day-to-day life quite challenging, especially for the elderly. Our expert team of carers are well experienced in caring for people with hearing loss and have lots of tips and tricks for managing it well, which we have decided to share with you so you can incorporate them into your elderly loved-one’s life and routine.

Keep up hearing aid maintenance

If your elderly loved-one has a hearing aid, it’s extremely important to make sure it is in good working condition at all times. Check wax filters daily and change them regularly. Always ensure spare batteries are nearby in the house or with your elderly relative if they are leaving the house.

Plan ahead when going out

There’s no shame in simply letting people know about your loved-one’s hearing loss if you’re going out and about – call ahead of where you’re going and see what provisions are available for someone who is hard of hearing.

If you’re eating out with a loved-one with hearing loss, sit them in the best position with a wall behind them so there isn’t distraction from people passing or talking behind them – most venues will be understanding and helpful with this if you call ahead of time.

Try lip reading

Practicing lip reading with an elderly loved-one can be very beneficial, especially if teamed with a hearing aid too. It might take some practice but it can work wonders, especially in noisy situations where your relative might find it hard to hear.

Teach your loved-one how to follow the movements of your lips, tongue and jaw and monitor facial movements, gestures and body language in order to pick up clues on what is being said, but be careful not to speak too quickly.

If your loved-one is showing signs of hearing loss you should seek medical advice and a hearing test can be completed.