Unfortunately, hearing loss is a very common experience for many. 1 in 6 Australians are reported to have a hearing loss. As we age, this number increases dramatically. Around 50% of people aged over 75 experience a loss in their hearing. For many, this can mean a feeling of decreased independence, as everyday tasks can become more challenging. Here are a few ways you can maintain your independence whilst living with hearing loss, and stay safe, too.
Untreated hearing loss
Hearing loss can impact our cognitive health, so it’s important to know where your hearing health stands. Untreated hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which can lead to a decrease in aural stimulation. This can actually cause parts of the brain to deteriorate, increasing the risk of dementia. Hearing loss can also lead to feeling fatigued, as the brain overcompensates to make up for gaps in our hearing.
Don’t let your hearing go untreated. If you suspect you may be suffering from hearing loss, it’s best to have your hearing checked just in case.
Identify potential risks
Hearing loss has been linked to an increase in falls in seniors, because it affects balance. Even a slight decrease in hearing ability can increase the risk of falls substantially. To minimise the risk of falls at home, identify and eliminate potential trip hazards. This may include loose rugs, slippery surfaces, clutter, and poor lighting. If you need a helping hand to make your home safer, we provide a home maintenance service where we can help with handy work like this.
Ask for it in writing
Unsure if you heard correctly? Ask for important information from doctors or other professionals to be written down. When it comes to your health, you want to make sure there are no misunderstandings. Ensure any written instructions are clear and easy to read, so when you need to refer to them later, there’s no guessing involved.
Make the most of assisted devices
There are a number of assisted devices nowadays that can be used to make living with hearing loss easier. Just like with closed captions on your television, you can also get closed captions for phones. A screen will display your phone conversations word by word so you don’t have to struggle to keep up. You can also get alarm clocks and smoke alarms that work through vibrating or light alert systems, instead of sound-only. These systems can also be linked to your phone, doorbell, and more.
Consider hearing aids
Hearing aids can really help you regain your sense of independence if you’ve been suffering from hearing loss. There are many places that will do a free hearing test for you. They can also offer free expert advice on which hearing aids are right for you. The hearing aids of today are a far cry from the bulky devices that were once our only option. If you’re worried about unsightly devices, don’t be – it might be time to consider hearing aids again.
If you need help around the home or out in your community because you are suffering from hearing loss, find out more about how we can help you with our in home care services.