Aging Parents May Withdraw From Conversations Or Not Attend Family Or Social Functions Like They Once Did. Often This Is Caused By The Experiencing Of Hearing Or Vision Loss In Seniors.
Research has shown that hearing and vision loss in seniors can cause cognitive decline. These changes often lead to the avoidance of social situations.
Issues Associated with Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is one of the most common problems older adults face. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) reports that about one in three people between the 65 and 74 years old experiences a hearing loss. Half of the individuals over the age of 75 have difficulty hearing.
Hearing loss often occurs slowly. Therefore, some people do not realize they have a hearing decline. Some deny having a loss because there is still a stigma with wearing hearing aids. Plus, hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars, and most insurances cover little if any of the cost. For example, Medicare does not pick up any of the cost of hearing aids.
Not being able to hear well can be dangerous. It can make it difficult to understand what doctors are saying or to be aware of warnings or alarms. Hearing loss can cause frustration or embarrassment. As a result, it can take the joy out of socializing with family and friends.
By the time an older adult realizes or admits that they have trouble hearing, memory loss related to age may have already begun. Thankfully, hearing aids can often help slow cognitive decline by as much as 75%, according to research. Hearing aids stimulate the ears, which in turn stimulate the nerves in your brain. These devices can help older adults stay more socially engaged avoiding social isolation and cognitive decline.
Vision Loss in Older Adults
Research shows the risk of eye problems increases significantly with age. The American Foundation for the Blind reports that about 15.2% of Americans over the age of 75 have vision loss. Once reaching the age of 80, more than 50% of the aging population will have cataracts, according to the National Eye Institute.
The leading causes of eye disease in older adults include macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. The English Longitudinal Study of Aging found cognitive decline is slowed by as much as 50 percent following cataract surgery.
Awareness Of Hearing And Vision Loss In Seniors
The opportunity to draw attention to the importance of early identification and intervention for hearing loss occurs on “World Hearing Day” every year on March 3rd. Also, March is “Save Your Vision” month. This is a chance to promote eye health and the importance of receiving regular eye exams for aging adults. Both of these awareness events offer the perfect chance to think about testing for hearing and vision loss in seniors.
If your aging parent seems to be withdrawing from social events, it may be time to talk to their doctor about their hearing and vision. Do you find you have to keep repeating yourself or speaking louder to an older loved one? If so, this may indicate that it may be time for a hearing test. Has your elderly parent complained of clouded or blurred vision, seeing “halos” around lights, or needing a brighter light for activities like reading? It may be time for a vision test. Doctors agree that the use of hearing aids or treatments such as cataract surgery will not eliminate cognitive decline. However, it can slow it down.
The professional caregivers at Hibernian Home Care understand the affects hearing and vision loss in seniors can have on other areas of an aging person’s life. They are trained to look for the signs of changes in hearing and vision and to communicate any concerns with family members. Their primary purpose is to ensure your loved ones receive the best care and enjoy the highest quality of life possible. If you want your aging parent to be cared for by someone with both experience and compassion, please call us at 732-481-1148 or use our Contact Us form. We offer Home Care services throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties, New Jersey.