Hearing Loss in seniors and how to prevent it
Millions of people in America suffer from hearing loss and deafness. Senior citizens are some of the victims of hearing loss. This condition can be caused by many factors including ear blockage and diseases among others. The most common cause of hearing loss among the elderly is prolonged exposure to noise. Many young people do not notice the effects of loud music and suffer from premature hearing loss later in their lives.
Causes of Hearing loss among Senior Citizens
Seniors make up about a third of hearing impaired people. Hearing loss as a result of age is known as presbycusis. When people age, the structure of their ears becomes elastic making it less sensitive to sound. Usually, the effects of hearing loss due to aging are noticeable from the age of 50.
Prolonged exposure to noise can lead to hearing loss. The effects of noise on hearing are worse among senior citizens. Noise induced hearing loss can be caused by regular exposure to noisy machinery, music, television sets, home theaters and traffic among other factors.
How to Prevent Hearing Loss in seniors
• Go for regular ear exams in a licensed medical institution. Testing is important whether you feel you suffer from hearing loss or not.
• Protect your hearing by avoiding prolonged exposure to loud noises. Avoid places such as theme parks and sporting events where you are likely to encounter uncomfortably loud noises. Wear ear protection if you cannot avoid going to such places. Make sure you carry a pair of foam plugs wherever you go because it may be hard to tell when you will be exposed to loud noises.
• Seniors who have been diagnosed with hearing loss, even if moderate, should go for treatment right away. This will help prevent permanent hearing loss. If your doctor prescribes hearing aids, it is important that you follow this suggestion to slow down the progression of hearing loss.
• Hearing aids help save your hearing. Consider wearing digital hearing aids that can adjust automatically. Hearing aids with automatic adjustments can help you to protect your ears from damaging sounds. In addition, this type of hearing aid ensures that you get the right amount of restored sounds required by your brain.
The worst thing you can do when suffering from hearing loss is nothing. If you think you have hearing loss, consult a licensed healthcare professional. Our senior caregivers in Miami can help you with making that connection as well as any regular practices recommended by your doctor. Make the call today and find out how Advancare’s in home care services can be of help.
How Caregivers Can Help with Dementia
Caregivers of individuals who have dementia face many challenges, but there are some simple yet effective tools they can use to make their task easier and the lives of their loved ones more enjoyable. By using these methods, caregivers will likely find that they can significantly reduce any stress and anxiety they experience while also enhancing the quality of life of the person with dementia.
• Be flexible. Conversing with people who have dementia can be a roller coaster ride, so be flexible. If the person believes you are someone else or insists on seeing someone who is no longer alive, for example, say you will find that person for them and then gently divert their attention to another topic.
• Be creative. Many people with dementia find comfort in creative activities, such as painting, drawing, molding clay, making jewelry, or doing collages. Choose crafts that match their interest and abilities and that do not involve tools that may be dangerous.
• Save memories. Since people with dementia usually remember events and people from their past, work together on assembling a scrapbook or similar project of their memories. This activity may include pictures, mementos, written stories, videos, and music.
• Know the person’s limitations. Select activities that take into consideration people’s physical challenges (e.g., poor eyesight or hearing, mobility), energy level, and their response to time of day (i.e., sundowner’s syndrome).
• Ask for help. People like to feel they are needed, so try to include them in activities by asking for their assistance. For example, if you are making a cake, ask them to stir the batter.
• Play in the dirt. Planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, and caring for plants can be very soothing and therapeutic. Consider planting a small flower bed or garden if it is feasible.
• Enjoy nature. Take walks outdoors or sit outside and talk about your surroundings. Research shows that getting back to nature is an important therapeutic tool for people who are suffering with dementia.
• Stay positive. Although it may be difficult at times to maintain a positive attitude, doing so can help people with dementia remain calm. Do take care of yourself, however, by seeking respite and maintaining a support system.
The ultimate goal when choosing activities for people with dementia is to keep them enjoyable, stress-free (for both them and you) and simple. If you keep this in mind, everyone involved can have a pleasant experience. Advancare will be able to provide with a trained staff that will be ready to attend to your senior care services.