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Hearing Loss in Your Elderly Loved One

September 19th, 2016

hearing-aid-1490115_1920One of the most difficult areas to address with an aging loved one when providing senior home care in Orlando is the subject of hearing loss. When your father has asked you for the umpteenth time to repeat what you just said and follows that up by exclaiming that you always mumble, you are about to head down that slippery slope. Sadly, denial is part of the process. There a very few people in the world who will readily admit that they are having difficulty hearing. Amongst the aging, it is a bitter pill to swallow, so they devise excuses to explain their lack of attention to what’s going on around them. Common excuses are that the volume is too low on the television, the grandkids speak too fast to be understood, there’s too much commotion – you get the picture. BrightStar Care can provide assistance and resources to help you convey the importance of hearing well to your elderly loved one.

Is there a connection between hearing loss and dementia? A recent study released by Frank Lin, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the Division of Otology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that hearing loss may be a strong indicator of the impending onset of dementia. The study didn’t define the reason that the participants with hearing loss were more prone to dementia, rather it showed, overwhelmingly, that the greater the hearing loss, the greater the risk of developing dementia. While the connection between hearing loss and the occurrence of dementia is not clearly defined, there are a few theories to consider.

When we hear, our brain is stimulated in many ways. We process, decode, identify, and respond, keeping our neurological pathways busy. As the ability to hear diminishes, our brain works harder to do these things. One school of thought is that the brain becomes overloaded trying to complete the hearing process, and this overstimulation may result in dementia. Another opinion suggests that as hearing loss advances, we tend to isolate ourselves from social situations. Lack of stimulation of the brain is also considered a pathway to developing dementia. The brain is maintained by delicate balances, and tipping its function, either way, may lead to dementia.

At BrightStar Care, we know how difficult it can be to identify hearing loss. As the foremost provider of senior home care in Orlando, we are here to help you tune into the subtle nuances of hearing loss and how to help your elderly loved one stay engaged and involved.  Contact us for more information on available resources regarding caregiving for your aging loved one.

Topics: General Health