Hearing loss is a common effect of aging, and even if your aging parents deal with their diminished hearing well on a regular basis, they may notice the effects more when at a special occasion or gathering, such as a family reunion.
As a family caregiver, it is important to help your parent enjoy these special events as much as possible, and feel involved and important. Struggling with their hearing loss during these events can cause your parent to feel isolated and ignored, potentially leading to depression, isolation, embarrassment, and other problems. Unfortunately, there are ways that you can help your parent to enjoy the family reunions while effectively managing their hearing problems.
Use these tips to help ensure your aging parent with hearing problems will enjoy a family gathering:
- -If the gathering is being hosted in a home, make sure that there are several rooms available to guests. This allows you to set aside one room as a quiet area for conversation and visiting while keeping activities such as eating and games in other locations.
- -If the gathering is being hosted in a larger area, such as an event venue, arrange furniture to create a conversation area. Having a focused location where people can talk will help your parent focus more on the conversation and hear better.
- -If your parents hearing problems are relatively new, discuss them with other family members prior to the event. Making them aware of the new hearing problems can make them more conscious of how they are speaking so they can make it easier for your parent to understand them. Be sure to emphasize that they do not need to shout at your parent or speak too slowly, both of which can actually make it more difficult for your parents understand what they are saying.
- -When talking to your parents, look directly at them. This will encourage others to do the same, which makes it easier for a person with hearing problems to understand what you’re saying.
- -If you are eating a meal together, reduce distractions by turning off music or television so that your parents can focus on the conversation. Consider separating younger generations to eat at a different table or even in a different room so that adults can have a quieter conversation.
- -Encourage your aging parent to wear their hearing aid. Even if they get self-conscious about this hearing device, reassure them that it is barely noticeable and will make their experience much more enjoyable.
Being a family caregiver for an elderly adult can be a challenging experience, but it can also be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling you can have in your life.
Introducing home care into your care routine with your aging parent can be an exceptional way to ensure your senior has the level of care, support, and assistance they need to manage their individual needs and limitations, while also giving you the ability to step back, take time to yourself, and focus on other obligations and needs in your life. Through a set of highly personalized services, this in-home care provider can help your parent to meet their needs in the ways that are right for them, while also supporting a lifestyle that is an active, engaged, independent, and fulfilling as possible as they age in place.