We as humans are a social species. Did you know that the one thing that separates us from all other living creatures on earth is the human ability to communicate through language? Hearing what people are saying and conveying information back whether it may for work or leisure is key to sustaining joy and sense of belonging for all people including the elderly. If you have an aging loved one in your life, it is important to look for ways to help them stay socially active and engaged. A thriving social life can provide your loved one with friendships, accountability, and the support needed to avoid feelings of depression and isolation. As people age, their hearing loss becomes at risk and this of course can also have a negative affect on social life.
How Hearing Loss affects Social Life
When we cannot communicate with others, our life experience begins to suffer. In most cases, people lose the ability to hear with clarity as opposed to complete loss of hearing. When a person cannot understand what others are saying, they are missing out on the participation in and the enjoyment of vibrant conversation. Without the treatment of hearing loss with hearing aids the inability to hear and understand conversation with clarity leads to separation from others which can spiral into depression, loneliness, isolation and reduced energy and desire self isolate.
Hearing Loss and Social Isolation
Often as seniors struggle with hearing in social situations, they begin to skip parties, reunions, trips and any event where there will be large groups of people. This can have such deep emotional and social impact on how a senior perceives their self worth and self esteem. It becomes easier to live in isolation and quiet without having to struggle, even though this can often lead to depression. When a person reaches this level of social isolation, seniors are often more susceptible to physical illness. In a research study cited by Harvard University, researchers found that adult’s ages 65 and older who participated in social and productive activities had a much lower risk of all causes of death than those who did not.
When seniors hear better they can interact more in the life and continue to pursue the things they’ve always loved in life. Being active and feeling useful and productive is important for seniors, especially during the later years of their retirement. An active social life can take the place of a busy work career, keeping them engage and full of satisfaction and purpose.
Lowered Risk of Depression
It is estimated that 6.5 million American seniors struggle with depression. As older adults become more and more dependent on others to help them with activities of daily life, they are no longer able to enjoy the same activities they once loved. When seniors struggle with hearing they can become socially isolated. Being able to hear what is being said can help your aging loved one stay connected to others and prevent feelings of depression and withdrawal.
When seniors are treating their hearing with hearing aids they can stay socially active, and they can feel more connected to their community. That connection can provide a strong sense of purpose; a schedule, a reason to get up and get dressed in the morning, and relationships that make them feel cared for. Encouraging your aging loved one to become a social senior means encouraging them to take care of themselves and make their health a priority.
The Importance of Hearing Aids
Treating hearing loss is the first step to staying socially connected. With a quality pair of hearing devices, your loved one will be able to hear much more easily in any listening environment. Those who treat their hearing loss feel closer to loved ones, enjoy their social lives, and are connected in their communities. They stay more active, leave the house more often, and enjoy an improved quality of life. They also experience less cognitive decline, and have lower rates of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
If you or your loved one is living with hearing loss don’t put off treatment any longer. Contact us at Hearing Care Centers for all your hearing needs and get back on the road to a full happy and social life.