My father just recently suffered a stroke, and due to his increased care needs, I have had the
opportunity to spend more time with him, providing care, assisting him with his personal and household
needs. While hearing loss has been something that my father has struggled with for years, I had no idea
the impact that his poor hearing was having on many other aspects of his life, besides just
Recently I had noticed my father spending less time on the phone, which has been his lifeline over the
past few years. Conversations were becoming much shorter, had less important content, and I was also
noticing an increase in confusion, and dare I say, a more frustrated attitude on the part of my dad.
Hearing loss can affect seniors in so many negative ways, and at present it is estimated that 1 in 3
seniors between the age of 65 to 74 suffer from hearing loss. Only 20% of seniors who experience a
decline in their auditory function, agree to try hearing aids. Some of the reasons sighted by seniors for
not wanting to proceed with hearing assistive devices include, social stigma, appearing older than they
really are, and of course the cost involved with obtaining hearing support devices. Many seniors are
willing to forgo the benefits of better hearing due to the above-mentioned issues.
The negative impacts of hearing loss among seniors may include but are not limited to some of the
items listed below.
Increased confusion and progression of dementia ( if diagnosed)
Reduced participation with social circles and avoiding social settings.
Increased falls and decreased safety awareness.
Increased agitation, and irritability.
The NIA – National Institute on Aging, has really taken notice of this current problem among our seniors,
and have been instrumental in pushing for advances in hearing technology, and preventative measures
to assist seniors with hearing loss. There has also been a recent increase in hearing specialist providing a
much lower cost option when purchasing hearing assistive devices. Most seniors fear paying upwards of
three to five thousand dollars for hearing aids however there are many new hearing aid options that can
be purchased for well under two thousand dollars.
Don’t let your hearing loss affect the other areas in your life that bring joy and happiness. You will feel
much more “part of the mix” and those who love and support you, will find joy in being able to
communicate with you, sharing old memories and creating new ones.
For more information about hearing loss and seniors, please visit the following website.