Loss of hearing is one of the main problems of elderly people. Studies show that this condition has a connection with falls, dementia, and walking issues. The sense of hearing is important for staying independent and alert. That is why losing it can be devastating, especially for those who live alone. Below are some of the details about the negative effects of hearing loss on our elderly.
According to a hearing aids survey, loss of hearing can affect an elderly person’s mental health. Adjustment disorder and depression happen as natural reactions to hearing loss and affect the person’s quality of life. In some cases, the loss of hearing aggravates an elderly person’s existing mental health issues. A person with this condition can experience feelings of inadequacy and humiliation. It can be distressing and shameful to become an incapable member of society.
Facing someone whose words you cannot hear can make you wonder how other people see you or think of you. This often results in negative feelings that tend to be debilitating, especially to older adults. Even if they wear hearing aids, concealing these devices becomes a problem as well. Most elderly patients even refuse to wear hearing aids because they are afraid that other people will ask them about the devices or that people will pity them.
Many elderly people resort to isolation because of this condition. They want to avoid misunderstanding what other people are saying. Preventing feelings of shame is also a reason for staying away from other people. This then causes or worsens depression.
Elderly people with hearing loss tend to feel guilty about not being able to hear anything. They often blame themselves for not being able to communicate well. Elderly people find apologising necessary each time they fail to understand or react correctly. They do not have a choice but to ask for help in participating in an event or understanding what was just explained.
Hearing loss also results in loneliness due to self-imposed isolation. This happens among friends and within their families. Missing the conversations during gatherings and then asking what happened can be tiring. Retreating to a quiet corner or choosing not to go at all is the common solution. The unseen impairment affects the relationships. Those who forget about the hearing loss become upset and argue with the patient who cannot even understand them.
Senior citizens are often set aside because they cannot do the things that they used to do. The addition of hearing loss worsens the feeling of helplessness. This results in lower energy levels in different activities. Hopelessness and suicidal thoughts may occur as well. Elderly people with hearing loss are often seen as tiresome and stupid. Once the elderly patient takes these negativities seriously, self-esteem lowers even more.
Elderly patients already feel useless because of their deteriorating health. Once hearing loss starts, the negative feelings worsen. This pushes them to separate themselves from the people they know and love. Hearing loss can deteriorate their self-esteem as well. People around them should make an effort to help them so that the elderly patients can feel useful and relevant once again.