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How to Help Older People when Their Hearing Starts to Fail

Growing old has many challenges, and it can be hard to adjust to these challenges. It’s not just hard for the elderly person who is facing these changes, but also for those around them.

One common struggle that many older people face is that their hearing starts to fail. This is something that simply happens over time, and the severity of their hearing loss can differ. If you know an older person whose hearing is failing, there are a few things that you can do to help them, and we’re here to share a few of those things.

Invest in hearing aids

Just because someone’s hearing is starting to fail doesn’t mean that they can’t live a normal life. In fact, many people who are hard of hearing live entirely normal lives thanks to hearing aids.

It may take some time to adjust to the aids, but once they are used to them, they should be able to hear much better. Technology has recently made massive strides in all areas, including hearing aids. Nowadays, you can even find a hearing aid with Bluetooth. With the right hearing aids, elderly people can continue living their lives the way they did before they lost their hearing.

Switch on subtitles

An easy way to make things more accessible for the hard of hearing is to turn on subtitles. Since older people often struggle with technology, they may be unable to do this themselves, so why not offer to help them out?

Have a look at their TV settings as well as any streaming services they use, and turn on their chosen subtitles. If you want to change the subtitles on Netflix but don’t know how, this post might be able to help.

Communicate differently

Depending on how severe their hearing loss is, they may struggle to properly hear what you are saying, even if you do have hearing aids.

Luckily, there are many other ways to communicate. It can be hard for someone to learn sign language if they are older, so lip reading could be a good option. There are also many devices and apps that assist in speech-to-text translation. You should also be more considerate when communicating over the phone. Phone calls, voice notes, and video calls are all amazing, but they aren’t ideal for people who can’t hear very well.

While it may take you a bit longer to type your message instead of speaking it, it will be a much more accessible form of communication for them.

Support them

While there are, of course, many aspects of a person’s life that are affected when their hearing starts to give in, we tend to focus mainly on the physical effects as well as the logistics of it.

However, dealing with hearing loss can also be a traumatic situation that can negatively affect someone’s mental health, especially if they are older. Therefore, you need to support the elderly while they go through this change, and you should try to help them adjust however you can.

If other health issues are arising, they may even need to move into a care facility, and then you will also need to support them during this move.

Don’t treat them differently

It can be easy to suddenly start treating people differently when they go through a health challenge such as losing their hearing.

However, you should avoid this type of reaction, as it can make people feel helpless, especially if they are older and are already worried about their independence. Remember that they are still the same person they were before their hearing loss, and they are still capable of many things. So, as mentioned, you should support and help them, but don’t pity them, be condescending, or treat them like they can’t do anything for themselves simply because their hearing is failing.

In conclusion

It’s hard to deal with any type of change, and it’s even harder if this change occurs when you are older. Unfortunately, however, many older people suffer from hearing loss, which also affects those around them.

That being said, there are many ways for you to help the elderly once their hearing starts to fail, and thanks to technology and products like hearing aids, there are many ways to help the elderly live a normal life, even if their hearing starts to fail. While every situation is different and will depend on the severity of the hearing loss, this post hopefully gave you a better idea of what you can do if an elderly loved one ever loses their hearing.

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