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The Emotional Effects Of Hearing Loss In The Elderly

The Emotional Effects of Hearing Loss in the Elderly

Hearing loss plays a large role in how the elderly experience and react to their environment and is something that we take seriously as part of our eldercare in Montreal.  Hearing loss causes many communication problems, as well as difficulty thinking or concentrating. This can result in inattentiveness, distraction, boredom and frustration. Hearing loss can have a huge impact on an elderly person’s quality of life.

Some of the many difficulties the hearing-impaired elderly face are

  • Understanding  family or friends on the phone
  • Following a conversation when several people are talking
  • Enjoying a favorite television or radio program
  • Understanding unclear speech or a heavy  accent
  • Being aware someone is talking to them
  • Hearing an alarm, a doorbell or a telephone

The stress of living with hearing loss can result in sadness, depression, anger and irritability.  Often social interactions are frustrating and can leave the elderly person with feelings of incompetence or inadequacy.  This in turn can cause the person to withdraw from further interactions with others, in effect creating a psychological solitary confinement.

In offering home care in Montreal, we at Complete Care Coordination are very aware of the impact of hearing loss. Despite the many difficulties a hearing impaired elderly person faces, there are numerous steps that can be taken to assist them during interactions with others.

Here are some tips to remember when speaking to a senior with hearing loss

  • Face the elderly person and do not cover your mouth when you are speaking.
  • If the hearing impaired elderly person hears better in one ear than the other, position yourself to address that side.
  • Speak slowly and clearly, be sure to enunciate each word.
  • Turn off the radio, TV or background music during conversations.
  • Have one-on-one conversations.  At family gatherings, ask relatives to sit one at a time with the elderly person away from the crowd.
  • Avoid noisy restaurants.  Ask for a table away from the kitchen and avoid the busiest times of the day.
  • Be patient and prepared to repeat. Do not let your frustration show, as this will cause the person to withdraw.
  • Whenever possible provide pertinent information in writing, such as directions, schedules and appointments.
  • Take turns speaking and avoid interrupting.
  • Use body language to help convey meaning.

If you are caring for an elderly person with hearing loss, please contact an audiologist to have their hearing properly assessed.

And please do not hesitate to contact us for further information about our services for elderly care in Montreal. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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