Hearing Loss and Seniors
The Canadian Hearing Society estimates that in Canada more than 60% of seniors over the age of 65 have a hearing loss.
The most common cause is PRESBYCUSIS, which affects both the ability to hear and understand certain sounds. Many people who have had good hearing for most of their lives find it a very frustrating condition. They cease to participate in meetings, church services, parties and other social activities. They very quickly become socially isolated from their friends and may even become lonely and depressed as a result.
Some people who live alone become nervous and anxious because they cannot hear the telephone, doorbell, or other household sounds. Hearing loss for elderly people can be very frightening, frustrating and aggravating. However, with the help of hearing aids, assistive listening devices, the support of understanding family and friends, many elderly hard of hearing people continue to lead happy, independent and fulfilling lives.
Seniors with hearing loss may be interested in our resources for seniors.
Tips for Family and Friends
- speak clearly.
- making sure the hard of hearing person can see you. Do not try to carry on a conversation from another room.
- eliminating background noise, radio, TV, running water, clattering dishes.
- making sure the hard of hearing person can see you, always remember to establish eye contact before speaking.
- being patient when you have to repeat something.
- give support to the elderly person trying to adjust to a hearing aid.
- encourage the hard of hearing person to continue with all work, leisure and social activities.
- remember to include the hard of hearing relative in group conversation.
- learn as much as you can about communicating with a hard of hearing person.