Caring for Elderly with Hearing Loss

Caring for Elderly with Hearing Loss

It is estimated that 25% of seniors aged 65-74 have significant hearing loss, and that number rises to 50% among seniors 75 and older. That means there are millions of elderly people with some form of significant hearing loss. Which presents special challenges to those seniors who wish to live at home and not in a nursing home or assisted living facility. For many, having home care assistance is a way for them to stay in their homes while receiving the care they need. But caring for a senior with hearing loss can present special challenges.

At-Home Care for a Senior with Hearing Loss

When caring for a senior with hearing loss; it’s important to keep a few basics in mind. Here are a few tips for better communication with an elderly person with hearing loss:

  • Focus on the conversation. Make sure both you and the elderly person with hearing loss are paying attention only to the conversation.
  • Talk face-to-face. This helps with lip-reading, and improves focus.
  • Speak slower, not louder. Pause between sentences or thoughts to allow them to understand.
  • Make sure your hands do not cover your face when speaking.
  • Eliminate background noise

Following these tips for communicating with seniors with hearing loss can help. Of course, during the current COVID-19 pandemic, in-person communication may be more difficult. So you may need to adapt.

Home Care Services for Seniors with Hearing Loss

An in-home caregiver can assist elderly people who have experienced hearing loss in a number of ways. In addition to the usual personal care and light housekeeping, seniors with hearing loss may benefit from additional social interaction and companionship, as people with hearing loss can feel isolated due to the difficulty of communication. And while there are many adaptive technologies available, they can be confusing to many seniors. An at-home caregiver can help with technology and organization.

Caring for a Senior Who Resists Help with Hearing Loss

Like many people, seniors can be stubborn and set in their ways. They may deny that they need in-home assistance or that they have experienced hearing loss. Experts at Johns Hopkins recommend having patience with seniors who resist help with hearing loss. Be prepared to have multiple conversations with them on the topic, and try to refer to expert advice rather than only your own opinion. Assure them that modern hearing aids and assistive devices are more discreet than ever.

Aids to Caring for a Senior with Hearing Loss

There are a few products that can help elderly people living at home with hearing loss adapt. There are two broad categories of products: those that allow seniors to receive visual or tactile notifications of things that are generally audible, and those that amplify certain sounds to assist with hearing. These products include

  • A visual doorbell allows seniors with hearing loss to see when someone is at the door.
  • A regular sleep schedule, even for retired seniors, is important. Having an alarm clock that provides both a loud alarm and a physical alarm (in this case, a small sensor under the mattress vibrates to wake the person up) can aid in maintaining a normal schedule.
  • In case of an emergency, there are few things more important for a senior than a smoke detector with a visual alarm.
  • If the elderly person with hearing loss lives with someone who does not have hearing loss, or in an apartment building with close neighbors, turning the tv up until they can hear it may not be an option. That’s where a personal headphone amplifier like TV Ears can help.

Of course, there are many more products like these that can help. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a guide to the types of products available to elderly people with hearing loss.

Home Care Powered by AUAF can Help Get Seniors With Hearing Loss the Assistance They Need

Find our more about how our professional in-home caregivers can assist you or your elderly loved one by contacting us or by sending an e-mail at [email protected]. Our dedicated professionals will walk you through every step of the process.

(DISCLAIMER: Home Care Powered by AUAF has not independently reviewed or tested any of the products listed above for safety or efficacy, nor do we receive any commission or other consideration from their purchase.)

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