About one in three people ages 65 to 74 and nearly half of those 75 or older have difficulty hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Men tend to have greater and earlier hearing loss than women.
Hearing loss can be part of the natural aging process or due to continual exposure to loud noise. Other causes are viral or bacterial infections, heart conditions, stroke, head injuries and tumors.
At any level, hearing loss can have serious consequences. It can disrupt communications with one’s family, friends and physician, and can interfere with responding to doorbells, phones, alarms and sirens. Hearing loss can make driving more difficult and even dangerous.
Advice for seniors with hearing impairments
If you are having hearing difficulties, arrange to see your physician, an otolaryngologist (ear-nose-throat physician) or an audiologist (hearing loss professional). One of them can evaluate you and determine the degree of hearing loss and recommend treatment. Options might include a hearing aid, a cochlear implant (in the inner ear) and an assisted listening device.
For those of you experiencing hearing trouble, here is advice from the NIDCD to cope with your situation:
- Tell friends and family about your hearing loss so they are aware when speaking with you.
- Ask them to face you when speaking so you can see their mouth movements and expressions.
- Ask them to speak louder, but not shout, and to speak clearly, but not slowly.
- Turn off the TV or radio if you aren’t using it in order to eliminate background noise.
- When you go out, try to avoid areas with a lot of noise that can make hearing difficult.
How retirement communities help those with hearing loss
The community lifestyle at senior retirement homes can benefit older persons whose hearing loss isolates them from friends and relatives. Activities that encourage socialization, supervised by staff trained to work with hearing-impaired seniors, can reconnect them with their peers and improve their mental well-being as well.
At Country Meadows, our well-trained staff, experienced in communicating with hearing-impaired seniors, works with them to pursue hobbies and form new friendships. All residents receive this attention—those living in our personal care and assisted living homes and memory support neighborhoods, as well as our independent living communities if needed.
We care about and attend to every aspect of our residents’ health. If you would like support for your health and plan on choosing a retirement community near you, we invite you to contact us. We can give you a tour of any of our senior communities and introduce you to our full range of services. We have 10 Pennsylvania retirement homes—in Lancaster, Hershey, Mechanicsburg, Pittsburgh, Wyomissing, York-South, York-West, Allentown, Bethlehem and our newest community, Easton—as well as a retirement community in Maryland, in Frederick.
We would like to meet and talk with you about all that our caring community can offer you or your loved one. Please contact us to schedule a visit or request information.