Your elderly family member might be losing her hearing for a variety of different reasons. At some point, the reason doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you can help her in other ways once you know what’s going on. If your elderly family member hasn’t let you know outright that her hearing is changing, some of these clues can help.
She’s Mumbling a Lot and Accuses Others of Mumbling
Mumbling can be a big clue when your senior’s hearing starts to go, because she’s not able to tell how loud she’s talking. The flip side of that is that she may accuse other people of mumbling, and again that’s because she can’t hear them very well. You might notice that the volume is steadily increasing with certain things, too, like the television.
She May Avoid Phone Calls More Often
Your elderly family member might not realize it, but she’s likely relying more on lipreading, even a rudimentary version, than she thinks. Seeing how your lips and other peoples’ lips move helps her to figure out what is being said. That’s impossible to do over the phone, so your elderly family member may have started to avoid using the telephone. Of course, she might be having problems in person, too, so she might start avoiding all sorts of conversations.
She Might Have Problems with Tinnitus
Tinnitus is a big problem for lots of people who have hearing trouble. It can be mild, with a slight hissing sound, or it can be severe, including ringing sounds that are loud and obtrusive. If that’s part of what your senior is experiencing, she may find that’s interfering with her hearing. Sometimes hearing aids and medication can help to tone down tinnitus, but many people find it to be a problem that is very frustrating due to the lack of an easy solution.
Her Temper Might Be Shorter than Usual
All of this can lead to your senior feeling a lot more frustrated than usual. She may take that temper out on everyone around her and it can cause her to shut down and withdraw. The problem is that her temper might make other people not want to spend time with her, either, which worsens the isolation she’s creating for herself.
When you’re starting to see changes in your senior’s hearing, it can help if she has someone around who has a little bit of experience assisting older adults with hearing issues. Home care providers have a lot of patience and a lot of the types of experience you’re looking for.