Hearing loss isnt just a sign of getting older. It could be a sign that youre suffering from something much worse than simply old age. Hearing loss has been linked to several health concerns, including Alzheimers and dementia.More and more studies show a conclusive link between untreated hearing loss and cognitive decline. According to a study published in Geriatrics and Gerontology International, older individuals with hearing loss were more likely to experience some degree of memory loss than those with normal hearing.Its estimated that one in three people older than age 60 have hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss, also known as presbycusis, is hearing loss that occurs gradually as we grow older. It is one of the most common conditions affecting adults.Presbycusis typically occurs due to changes in:Blood flow in the inner earNerves responsible for hearingHow the brain processes speech and soundCommon signs of hearing loss include:Asking people to repeat what they sayFeeling like others are always mumbling or not speaking clearlyDifficulty hearing and understanding speech in noisy environmentsMissing words or phrases on the telephoneTurning the volume up on the television or radio louder than normalEven though hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic health condition facing older adults, only 20 percent of individuals afflicted seek treatment. On average, hearing aid users wait over 10 years after their initial diagnosis to finally get fit with hearing aids. This lack of treatment can create many detriments to ones health physical and cognitive.Effects Greater Than DecibelsHearing loss and cognitive decline are beginning to go hand-in-hand. People with untreated hearing loss are susceptible to a decreased quality of life. And the impact of hearing loss isnt simply measured in decibels. Unfortunately, it is far greater than that. In addition to the inability to hear, hearing loss is often associated with depression, sadness, and poor social relationships. All of which are key factors contributing to cognitive decline. Hearing loss and cognitive decline are beginning to go hand-in-hand. Hearing loss and cognitive decline are beginning to go hand-in-hand.Individuals with difficulty hearing tend to withdraw from social settings. If you cant hear, you cant participate in ongoing conversations. This alone leads to the following:Anxiety And Depression:Not being able to hear can become stressful, especially for people trying to communicate and be productive, such as in a work setting. If left untreated, hearing loss can have a negative impact on your mental health, thus increasing levels of anxiety and depression. These mental health conditions not only affect your feelings but they also affect the way your brain works and processes information. For example, tasks that involve recalling information become much more difficult.Increased Isolation:Because socializing becomes challenging and stressful, many with untreated hearing loss begin isolating themselves from social settings and other people. This has an adverse effect on your brain as it is no longer exposed to the stimulation that occurs during socialization. Just as your body needs exercise to keep moving and functioning, so does your brain. Conversations and interactions are exercises for your brain. A lack of these activities can impair your memory function and cognitive performance. It can also lead to cerebral atrophy or loss of brain neurons (cells).In addition to the effects listed above, untreated hearing loss also makes it harder to concentrate. When you cant hear or have difficulty hearing someone, you put your focus and attention on trying to understand what they are saying. Although this seems fine, it has lingering cognitive effects. Struggling to understand makes your brain work harder unnecessarily and forces your brain to strain and attempt to fill in the gaps. This depletes your brain of energy. When you spend all your energy trying to hear, your brain isnt working on remembering what is being listened to.When To See An AudiologistIf youre struggling to make out speech or suspect that youre experiencing hearing loss, have an open and honest conversation with your primary care provider. They can assist you in finding a qualified audiologist that will examine your ears and perform a hearing test to determine what type and degree of hearing loss you may have.From there, you can work with your provider to find a treatment option that best fits your needs. Theres no reason to be embarrassed or worry about your appearance with hearing aids. The hearing aid industry has come a long way since the days when they used to wrap around the ears and be a sight for sore eyes. Now, you can discreetly place them inside your ears and even match them to your skin tone to where they are virtually invisible.Treating hearing loss not only gives you back your ability to hear. It gives you back your freedom to communicate with ease. And most of all, it helps to safeguard your brain and keep dementia and Alzheimers at bay.
Top Tips for Reducing Elderly Anxiety at NightTrying to reduce elderly anxiety at night for a loved one? Read our top tips for the best ways to minimize elderly anxiety at night and improve their sleep quality.Alt Text: An Elderly Man Reminiscing (Image Source)Do you have an elderly loved one who experiences anxiety at night? Unfortunately, anxiety can become more common and impactful as we age, causing sleep disturbances and other issues. However, there are strategies that caregivers can use to help reduce anxiety in the elderly at night. This article will discuss tips for reducing elderly anxiety at night, including creating a relaxing environment, engaging in relaxation techniques, and utilizing innovative technologies. Read on to learn about assisting your senior family member in coping with their anxiety at night and improving their sleep quality.Related: Three Things to Consider When Taking Care of Your ParentsUnderstanding Elderly Anxiety at NightTo fully grasp nighttime anxiety in older adults, we must examine its causes and symptoms.The Causes of Anxiety in the Elderly at NightThere are various causes of anxiety in the elderly at night, some of which include:Health Concerns - Older adults may have concerns about their health, chronic illnesses, pain, and other age-related issues that can cause anxiety and worry at night.Loss of Independence - Aging can cause a loss of independence, which can be emotionally distressing and lead to anxiety.Fear of Falling - Older adults are at an increased risk of falling, which can cause anxiety and fear, especially at night when it is dark, and visibility is low.Loneliness and Isolation - Many older adults live alone, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings can heighten at night with less social interaction and distractions.Financial Concerns - Older adults may worry about their financial stability, especially if they are retired and living on a fixed income.Medications - Certain medications can cause side effects such as insomnia, nightmares, and anxiety, which can be more pronounced at night.Cognitive Decline - As people age, Alzhermers, dementia, and cognitive decline can occur, which can cause confusion, disorientation, and anxiety at night.Past Traumatic Experiences - Older adults may have experienced traumatic events in their past, such as war, abuse, or loss of loved ones, which can cause anxiety and flashbacks at night.Click Here to see how teleCalm can stop late night calls!Identifying Anxiety Symptoms in Older AdultsAnxiety symptoms can manifest differently in older adults compared to younger individuals. Some common symptoms of anxiety in the elderly include:Excessive Worrying - Elderly individuals may excessively fret over health, finances, and various life aspects.Physical Symptoms - Anxiety may induce symptoms like increased heart rate, perspiration, trembling, and shortness of breath.Sleep Disturbances - Seniors with anxiety might struggle with falling asleep, maintaining sleep, or awakening too early.Irritability and Restlessness - Anxiety can lead to feelings of irritability, agitation, and restlessness in older adults.Avoidance Tendencies- Some seniors with anxiety might evade situations that exacerbate their anxious feelings, such as social gatherings or leaving the house.Memory Challenges - Anxiety can impact memory and focus, posing concerns for elderly individuals experiencing cognitive decline to some extent.Physical Complaints - Anxiety can cause physical complaints such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, and muscle tension.Late-Night and Repeated Calling - It is important to note that according to WebMD, these symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions, and a proper evaluation by a healthcare professional is necessary to determine the underlying cause.Top Tips for Reducing Elderly Anxiety at NightHere are some tips that can help reduce elderly anxiety at night:1 Using teleCalm's Repeat Dialing FeatureWith just a few simple steps, you can customize your preferences in the teleCalm Caregiver App to stop compulsive and repeated calls.Features of teleCalm's Repeat Dialing include:Customizable Settings: Choose the number of calls (2-5 times) and the specified period of time (15-60 minutes) before repeat dialing is activated.NotificationsGentle Messages to Your Loved OneNo Additional CostAlt Text: An Elderly Woman In Her Room (Image Source)2. Using teleCalm's Quiet Hours FeatureThe teleCalm's Quiet Hours feature can block incoming and outgoing calls during specific times. Here's how the Quiet Hours feature works:Customizable Settings - You can customize Quiet Hours in the teleCalm Caregiver App to activate during specific times, such as Nighttime Quiet Hours from 10 pm to 7 am.Default or Personalized Messages - Your loved one will hear a default message during Quiet Hours. You can also record a personalized message in your voice to reassure them.Easy to Set Up - Activate Quiet Hours under the Settings screen in the teleCalm Caregiver App. Select the time ranges for Daytime and Nighttime Quiet Hours. You can also adjust or turn off Quiet Hours anytime in the app.3. Establishing a Regular Sleep RoutineA consistent sleep schedule can help improve sleep quality and reduce anxiety at night. Encourage the elderly to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.4. Creating a Calming Sleep EnvironmentMake sure the bedroom is comfortable, quiet, and dark. Encourage the elderly to create a peaceful atmosphere by playing soothing music, using aromatherapy, or using a white noise machine.5. Limiting Caffeine and Alcohol IntakeEncourage the elderly to avoid caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, as these substances can interfere with sleep quality and contribute to anxiety.6. Developing a Relaxation RoutineMeditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation before bedtime.7. Addressing Underlying Medical ConditionsAddress any underlying medical conditions contributing to anxiety at night, such as pain, urinary urgency, or respiratory distress.8. Talking to a Healthcare ProfessionalEncourage the elderly to seek professional help if their anxiety at night is severe or interfering with their daily activities. A mental health professional or physician can provide appropriate treatment options.Click Here to Contact teleCalm Today and Start Stress Free Phone Service!Alt Text: An Elderly Gentleman Holding a Colorful Ball (Image Source)Use a Mixed Approach to Help Combat Elderly Anxiety at NightElderly anxiety at night is a common issue that can significantly impact their quality of life. Fortunately, there are several strategies that caregivers can use to help alleviate anxiety in the elderly at night, such as establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a relaxing environment, engaging in relaxation techniques, and seeking professional help. Additionally, teleCalm offers solutions such as the Repeat Dialing feature, which can help reduce compulsive and repeated callsthe Quiet Hours feature, which blocks incoming and outgoing calls during specific times. With a mixed approach incorporating lifestyle changes and innovative technologies, caregivers can help their loved ones manage anxiety and improve their overall well-being.Related: My Mom is Calling at 3AM
Just because youve experienced hearing loss, it doesnt mean you have to suffer through life without sounds. Hearing aids have long been used to treat hearing loss, and as the technology has advanced, these devices have become highly sophisticated to produce even better results. At Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center, we have years of experience fitting patients with hearing aids at our 3 locations in Southwest Florida locations. Hearing aids are not a one-size-fits-all product, but instead the right pair must be chosen for each individual patient. We will evaluate the type and severity of your hearing loss as well as your lifestyle and listening goals to determine which type of hearing aids best suits your needs. Well also schedule return appointments to allow you to give us feedback so we can fine-tune your hearing aids even further. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about what we can do for you.IS IT TIME FOR A HEARING AID?Answering this question requires you to be completely honest with yourself. Are you having trouble hearing people at a restaurant or in a crowd? Do you have trouble hearing in meetings, at church, work, or school? Are other people telling you that you arent hearing well? These are all signs that it might be time to consider a hearing aid. Visit us for a hearing evaluation today.AM I CHOOSING THE CORRECT HEARING AID, AND AM I GETTING A FAIR PRICE?Discuss the different styles and options available to you with your hearing specialist. You can also comparison shop to try to find the best deal. Just be cautious of devices with extremely low prices. The hearing aids may look the same as others youve considered, but the low price could signal they lack sophistication and features. Dont be fooled by savvy marketing or misleading sales tactics.WHY DO I NEED TWO HEARING AIDS? CAN I JUST BUY ONE TO SAVE MONEY?Hearing affects your balance and direction, so its important for you to have hearing in both ears. Your brain must hear everything in order for you to balance properly and have the best quality of life.WILL HEARING AIDS HELP ME TO CLEARLY UNDERSTAND SPEECH IN A CROWD?For the most part, hearing aids will help with this difficulty. However, everyone has a different experience with this situation. Every new generation of hearing aid helps to tackle this problem a little better by using advanced sound processing technology, instead of just relying on amplification.MY HEARING IS JUST GETTING WORSE. IF I GET HEARING AIDS NOW, WOULDNT I HAVE TO REPLACE THEM LATER?Hearing aids are like little computers, and as such can last many years with the proper care. Dont put off hearing better for fear you may need to replace your devices later. Well teach you the proper maintenance techniques to help your hearing aids stay in good condition.WILL HEARING AIDS HELP ME HEAR THE WAY I USED TO?Unfortunately, hearing aids are not able to help you hear exactly the way you used to. While they do allow you to recover some of the ability to hear and give you a better quality of life, they will not completely fix your hearing.DOES IT MATTER WHERE I GO FOR A HEARING AID?Just as with any other important healthcare products, it does matter where you purchase your hearing aids. Be sure to find a medical professional who is highly trained and has experience you can trust. Dont rely on any dealers who appear to just be out to sell you something. Instead, find a hearing center willing to answer all your questions and help you find the right devices for your needs.I CAN SAVE MONEY GETTING A HEARING AID THROUGH THE INTERNET. IS THIS A GOOD IDEA?Florida Gulf Coast Hearing Center does not recommend buying hearing aids over the internet or buying used devices. For the best performance, hearing aids should be specifically sized and tuned for each individual, and buy purchasing online, you skip this important step. Improper fit can lead to further problems, including trauma to the ear, infection, and worsening ear function.