5 Ways Hearing Impairment Impacts Independence in the Elderly

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How Hearing Loss Impacts Independence in Seniors in Palm Desert, CA

Roughly half of all seniors end up with at least some level of reduced hearing due to structural changes to the inner ear and the loss of the tiny hairs needed for hearing. Hearing loss doesn’t completely destroy a senior’s independence, but it can make it challenging to manage some everyday activities. When seniors start to lose their hearing, it may impair their independence in the following five ways.

1. Transportation

Almost every form of traveling from one location to another gets more dangerous when seniors cannot hear. They may not be able to hear an emergency siren while driving, or they may not notice approaching traffic while crossing a road, which can make it difficult to safely navigate the world around them. There are special devices that can provide visual cues for these sorts of noises, or you can try to make the time to drive your loved one around.

Palm Desert senior care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

2. Employment

Many seniors have jobs that require them to be able to hear and interact with customers. The communication impairments that occur when a senior can no longer understand what people are saying clearly may make it difficult to work. Even if your loved one doesn’t need the money, he or she may appreciate the sense of responsibility associated with the job. If this is a concern, make sure your loved one has hearing aids, and speak to his or her employer about reasonable accommodations.

3. Communication

Without the ability to hear, a major source of communication is lost. Seniors may have difficulty hearing a doctor’s instructions, making appointments over the phone, or socializing with others. Fortunately, there are many technological innovations that help with these issues. Seniors can use hearing aids in many situations, and they may also benefit from speech-to-text programs on computers or phones.

If your loved one is experiencing hearing loss and finding it difficult to communicate, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care, Palm Desert, CA, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

4. Entertainment

Seniors use their hearing for things like listening to music, watching films, and playing games. Losing these forms of creative entertainment can put seniors at risk for developing depression that impairs their daily independence. Work with your loved one to help him or her find ways to stay mentally stimulated without sound.

5. Personal Safety

A senior’s personal safety relies on being able to hear. Seniors who cannot hear things like smoke alarms, someone breaking into their home, gas hissing from a leak, a dog barking at them, or a severe weather alert may ignore these warnings and end up in a dangerous situation. Consider installing alarms in your loved one’s home that provide warnings about these types of dangers, and make sure the alarms use bright lights instead of loud sounds to alert him or her.

If you’re caring for a loved one with hearing loss, don’t let yourself become overwhelmed. Palm Desert respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. To schedule a free in-home consultation, call Home Care Assistance at (760) 345-0001 today.


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