Hearing loss is most common in elderly people. According to Age UK, more than 71% of over 70-year-olds and more than 41% of over 50-year-olds suffer from some form of hearing loss.
It is caused by general wear and tear of the tiny hair cells in the inner ear.
It can be difficult to tell if an elderly loved-one is suffering from hearing loss, however, there are some common signs you can look out for. These include the person regularly misunderstanding what you or others are saying. Regularly asking people to repeat themselves or having to have music or the television on a high volume.
Many of our service users suffer with hearing loss and our expert carers are well trained to deal with it. Over the years they have developed lots of tips and tricks for managing it well, which they have very kindly agreed to share here on our blog:
Keep up hearing aid maintenance
It’s extremely important to make sure your elderly loved-one’s hearing aid is in good working condition at all times. Check the wax filters daily and change them regularly. Keep spare batteries nearby in the house or with your elderly relative if they are leaving the house.
Plan ahead when going out
When you’re out and about, simply let people know about your loved-one’s hearing loss if they are struggling. There’s also no shame in calling ahead to wherever you’re going and asking 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.
Practice lip reading
Practicing lip reading with an elderly loved-one can be very beneficial, especially if teamed with a hearing aid too. 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. 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.