Unless you have been living on Pluto (or another planet) all these years, you know that untreated hearing loss can be devastating. It can impact your safety at home, out in public, and in the workplace as well, because it lessens your ability to hear the sounds warning us of impending dangers.
But that’s not all: numerous studies have shown that hearing loss also impairs our overall quality of life because it takes away our ability to hear, understand, communicate, and interact with people around us. Consequently, a sense of isolation, loneliness, and even depression can take over our lives.
None of the above information is new to you, but here is something you may not have thought about: a hearing loss can also affect your relationship with the people you love the most: your children.
Did you ever ask your kids what effect your hearing loss has had on them? Or maybe they tried to tell you but, because you didn’t wear hearing aids, their message fell – literally – on deaf ears?
It’s never too late to get a reality check. Read on.
Energize your ears
|Energize your life with better hearing|
Energizer Battery Inc.’s Energizer Specialty Batteries Division recently conducted a survey to understand how a hearing loss can affect a parent’s relationship with their adult children. The results may surprise you and, hopefully, motivate you to take action.
You may be wondering why a battery manufacturer cares about good hearing. The answer is that its “All Ears” Hearing Survey is part of the company’s “Live Healthy. KEEP GOING®” campaign, which encourages baby boomers to lead healthy and active lifestyles – with some help from battery-powered devices like hearing aids.
The survey polled two groups: baby boomers (1026 people born between 1946-1964) who suffer from hearing loss, as well as adult children who have a parent with a hearing loss. The survey found that nearly half of adult children said a parent’s hearing loss has had an effect on their relationship.
This news flash is especially relevant to an estimated 76 percent of Americans (out of an estimated 31.5 million) who have hearing loss but no hearing aid.
Out of the mouths of babes
There is no time like the present to listen – if you can – to your kids. This is what they told the Energizer survey:
- Hearing loss hinders relationships. Nearly half of adult children surveyed (45 percent) said a parent’s hearing loss has had an effect on the relationship they have with that parent. One in three (36 percent) said their parent misses important details about their lives; while nearly one in ten (9 percent) said they don’t communicate or share information with their parent as much as they would like to because hearing loss gets in the way.
- Putting appearance before family. Although 72 percent of boomers said their hearing loss has affected the relationship they have with their adult children, only 11 percent choose to wear a hearing aid. Reasons for NOT wearing a hearing aid? One in three boomers said they don’t like the way hearing aids look or feel and they believe the device will make them look or feel older than they really are.
- Do as I say, not as I do. More than 80 percent of boomers said it was extremely or very important for their adult child to have their hearing checked; however less than half (42 percent) of boomers surveyed had their own hearing screened within the past two years.
- Dad, can you hear me now? More than four out of ten adult children (44 percent) said their parent needs a hearing aid.
- You’ve got to see it to believe it. When it comes to having a visual impairment, nearly all of the boomers polled (99 percent) said they wear glasses/contacts all the time or for specific tasks; whereas only 11 percent wear a hearing aid to correct their hearing impairment.
Take action – now!
Okay, so now that you’ve seen the facts about the negative impact unaided hearing loss has on the parent-child relationship, what are you going to do about it?
The first logical step is to visit a hearing professional in your area who will test and fit you for hearing aids. You may balk at its price (ranging from $1,000 to $4000), but if truth be told – as it should – this will be one of the smartest investments you will ever make.
Why? Because if you calculate the initial cost of a hearing aid over a three to five year time span that an average device usually lasts, you will come up with a mere $3 a day.
Ask yourself: isn’t good hearing, easy communication and better social interactions with friends, family, and co-workers – not to mention your kids - worth three bucks a day?
Ask your children.