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The Importance of Treating Hearing Loss for a Parent with Dementia

If your loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it can be a profoundly important and difficult time in your lives. You want to ensure you are doing everything you can to provide them comfort and autonomy.

It is crucial to make hearing loss treatment and screening a part of your memory care plan for a loved one with dementia. Having a prepared and sound care plan can potentially help mitigate the long term effects of these chronic conditions.

The use of hearing aids can facilitate communication with your loved one, which can already be difficult for people with dementia. Understanding the severity of hearing loss and the gaps in communication may help to illuminate how severe the effects of cognitive decline are, and with treatment can help to give you back some much needed conversation ability with your loved one.

My loved one does not like to wear their hearing aid, how can I help them?

Help remind them this is not a loss of their independence. Having better control of their hearing faculties will allow them more autonomy.

Talk to them about loneliness and feeling isolated. Improving and treating hearing loss is shown to be associated with decreasing feelings of loneliness. It only makes sense that if you can hear others, they will hear you.

Reduce anxiety. Research also suggests that treating hearing loss through hearing aids helps reduce anxiety.

Untreated hearing loss is linked to cognitive decline, difficulty having conversations, higher risk of falls, and withdrawing from friends and family. Try to explain to your loved one that they can still take control. If hearing loss is caught early enough, some treatments can help lessen the damage.

What other treatment options do I have besides hearing aids?

A hearing exam is paramount, because a qualified audiologist will be able to tell you the origin of the hearing loss. For example, hearing loss can occasionally just be a matter of impacted earwax in the ear canal. This is why it is so important to regularly screen the hearing health of your loved one. Doing so can help prevent and treat common issues, and provide a more salient understanding of what can be done. Simply put, hearing health should be made a part of your overall memory care plan for your loved one.

Do you need help finding the resources and certified caregivers to treat your loved ones the way they deserve? Open Arms Certified Dementia Care Specialists can provide your loved one with support and effective treatment throughout the course of dementia.

Take the first steps to ensuring you have a sound and effective memory care plan by taking our 5 Minute Home Care quiz, which assesses 6 key areas of well being:

  • Eating Habits
  • Personal Hygiene
  • Care of Home
  • Safety/Mental Attitude
  • Mobility
  • Behavior

At the end of our Home Care Quiz, you’ll also have the opportunity to schedule a 30-Min virtual one-on-one session with Scott, our Memory Care Program Director, to get all your questions answered!

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