Hearing Impairment in Old Age and Special Care Measures
September 1, 2016
Vision and hearing loss are quite common in the old age. People over the age of 60 years gradually lose the efficiency of hearing over sounds and respond at the exact moment. The hearing impairment poses difficulty for the elderly people barring them from leading a normal life. One of the major causes of gradual loss of hearing in people over the age of 55 years is the Presbyacusis. Over 40% of the hearing loss in old age emerges from Presbyacusis that gradually reduces the ability of hearing the sounds of variant frequencies with equal perfection. In some rare cases, the loss of hearing ability may result from ear infections that are curable through medication.
Communicating with Seniors with Hearing Impairment
Your elderly relative with hearing loss may be under severe stress due to difficulty in communicating, hearing signals, doorbell, alarms and other sounds. It is very important that the family members of these people maintain enough patience and assort the following measures to ensure easing out the new condition until the problem is resolved. Here are some basic practices to ease the life and communication of the elderly patients with hearing impairment:
- Do not talk with the person from a greater distance to ensure proper hearing
- Sit face to face for a conversation at least once or twice to keep him in comfort
- Speak very slowly with proper accent, possibly at a louder pitch and proper lip movement for better understanding. Avoid shouting and anger to keep the person easy going
- Address the person with the name so that he can understand that you are talking to him to eliminate the chances of any missing gap during the conversation
- Maintain silence except the conversation to keep the external sounds from disturbing the hearing. Keep your TV, music system or radio in mute condition during the important conversations
- Do not stop speaking to the person, as it can be hurting emotionally. Maintain a soft gesture to keep the person comfortable during the session
Hearing Aid for Elderly People
Though family co-operation and elderly care plays a crucial role in protecting the older adults with hearing difficulties from severities but nothing can compensate the loss as the hearing aid that helps the person to face various circumstances.
Hearing Aid: The hearing aid is a small device placed on the ears that help the ears to receive amplified sounds for better understanding. The devices available in the market today are very advanced but the patients may take some time to adjust with the hearing aid as there are differences in natural hearing and device based assistance.
Middle Ear Implant: As the name suggests, a small hearing device is implanted in the middle ear area to catch the vibrations that produced due to any sort of sound. The option is convenient considering the fact that the patients get complete freedom from wearing any device on their ears.
Cochlear Implants: With gradual ageing, the hearing loss condition worsens to the extent that the ordinary devices may not be able to fulfill the purpose. The cochlear implant is the ultimate solution for immense hearing impairment due to the damaged cochlear cells. The process requires a small device implant into the cochlear area of the ears. The patients will have to put a small microphone on their ears that transmit the signals from the external speech processor into the implant to provide precise hearing.
Electric Acoustic Stimulation: This is combined process where the patient has to wear an external hearing aid device as well as have a cochlear implant to catch note of the high frequency sounds and the low frequencies respectively with both end solution.
For patients with complete hearing loss, the family members need to forbid the practice of leaving the person alone at home. Assisted caregiver help can be assorted from a reliable organization to ensure complete safety and support in all requirements.