Whatever your age, communicating with people around you is an essential part of life.
Whether you are at school, work, with family or friends or even in the company of strangers, your hearing helps you to make sense of the world around you.
This week 20-26 th may we celebrate Dementia Action Week and we highlight the importance of good hearing when someone is diagnosed with dementia.
People living with hearing loss, deafness or dementia often have problems with communication and report feeling isolated and cut off from their communities and friends.
Approximately 11 million people in the UK currently suffer from hearing loss – roughly 1 in 6 of us. Additionally, every 3 minutes someone in the UK develops dementia and these conditions are not just affecting the older population.
Hearing loss and dementia share many of the same symptoms: forgetfulness, repeating things, disorganisation, loss of confidence and concentration, difficulty socialising and making poor judgments. It is important therefore to test for hearing loss so that there is a correct diagnosis. Hearing loss can also increase the risk of dementia by up to 5 times with evidence suggesting that the early adoption of hearing aids may reduce this risk.
We can all help make life a little easier for those who have hearing difficulties or dementia.
Try some of the following tips:
This enables the person to lipread and benefit from other visual cues such as facial expressions and body language.
Choice of location
Choose meeting places with good acoustics and lighting and without too many people or crowded tables.
Get a hearing test
Encourage the person to get their hearing tested as the right hearing technology can make a significant difference at any age.
Keep it simple
If a person is struggling to understand try explaining things in a different way. Rephrase, repeat or even write it down, especially if it is important they have the correct information.
Make time to properly listen to what someone is trying to say. Don’t rush them or cut them short. Be patient and kind, it might be you one day!
Never shut a person out of the conversation by saying ‘never mind’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’ It always matters!
If you would like any more information why not come along to one of our free Hear Today events. These are held in various golf club locations every month. See our website for details of the next one.