Family Help for a Family Issue
A recent article in Washington Post suggested a solution an aged-old problem.
Although hearing loss can occur at any age, it becomes more common as we get older. In fact, the hearing of a typical 40-year old is already slightly poorer than the hearing of a typical 18=year old.
According to the Washington Post article, many family members talk louder or tolerate loud television because their parent or grandparent refuses to accept that he or she has hearing difficulties. But that approach only allows the person to mistakenly believe there is no problem. Denial is probably the greatest obstacle to good hearing health care.
A recent survey by AARP and the American Speech Language Association found that half of adults with hearing loss said family gatherings were difficult. Seventy-five percent said they felt left out because of hearing issues.
A Family Solution
The survey also found a potential solution for the problem of denial. While only 25% of respondents said they would raise the issue of hearing themselves, more than said they would seek help if a family member (especially a grandchild) asked them to do so. We also know that the most important factor for successful hearing aid use is the support of family and friends.
The solution? Rather than speaking louder, the family member who encourages a spouse or parent or grandparent to seek professional help may be taking the most effective step toward better hearing.