If your elderly mom or dad depends on you to be a family caregiver, than you know how important it is to prioritize their health and wellness. But how often to you think about their hearing and speech? Since May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, there’s no better time to talk to your aging parent and their doctor about what needs to be done to boost their quality of life in these two areas.
Seniors and Poor Hearing
There are numerous conditions that contribute to poor hearing in the elderly. It’s estimated that a third of seniors between age 65 an 74 struggle with some kind of hearing loss, and around half of seniors over age 75 do. Hearing loss can lead to embarrassment, frustration, isolation and even danger to health and wellness. When an elderly person cannot hear their friends, family, doctor, home care provider or other person, they can’t engage in their surroundings.
Many elderly adults are reluctant to share the fact that their hearing is diminishing, so it’s up to family caregivers and home care providers to watch for clues. Common conditions that affect hearing in aging adults include presbycusis, cholesteatoma, vestibular neuritis, tinnitus, and otomycosis. The good news is that many of these hearing conditions can be improved and even treated using assistive technology, medicine and other methods.
Seniors and Speech Problems
Just as age can affect the hearing, it can also affect a person’s speech. Speech, language and similar disorders are serious conditions that can cause lots of problems for elderly parents. When there are limits on an aging person’s ability to express themselves or communicate to family, friends, home care providers, doctors and others, they can get frustrated because they aren’t getting the help they need. They can’t communicate about hunger, pain or discomfort to home care providers or family members, who can provide them with assistance.
Some speech and communication issues are slow to manifest and are a result of chronic illnesses or age-related decline. However, some problems come on rapidly, such as the result of a stroke. There are many conditions that can affect speech such as poor dental health, stuttering, dysphagia, aphasia, dysarthria and apraxia. If an elderly adult is unable to speak as well as they would like, family caregivers can contact a speech therapist to get them some help.
Each May, many professional organizations focus on Better Hearing and Speech Month to educate people about these communication disorders. With the latest technology applied to diagnostic and treatment options, there are many ways to improve the lives of all seniors with hearing loss or speech issues. This May, you and your aging parent can participate in Better Hearing and Speech Month to ensure that your loved one gets the life-altering treatments they deserve.
IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING HOMECARE IN GLENDALE, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.