We are in a time where the baby boomer generation is beginning to retire and age. More and more children of aging parents, such as you, will begin to notice the regular aging process of their parents. However, one thing that you may not notice is the that effects aging, such as hearing loss, may be contributing to your parents' mental health. Although it is normal to have some hearing loss occur, if your parent is having trouble communicating with others, it is a major sign that hearing aids are needed. Unfortunately, many aging individuals do not want to worry about hearing aids and may feel that it only adds trouble, but the truth is, hearing loss can contribute to depression.
How Can Hearing Loss Contribute to Depression in Older Adults?
Although severe depression declines from adolescence to older adulthood, the percentage rate for older adults is still something to be aware of. According to the American Psychological Association, 20% of older adults have depression. This percentage rate goes up to 37% of adults with depression for those in nursing homes. A large contributor for older adults is loss, including the loss of a loved one or even the loss of everyday functioning, such as hearing loss. Not being able to hear the sounds of birds chirping on a Spring day or children's laughter in the distance can be disheartening, but not being able to hear others as they try to communicate with you can be embarrassing and frustrating. If individuals continue to go on in their everyday lives with untreated hearing loss,it can lead to an individual feeling down on a regular basis.
What Do I Do If I Suspect Depression In My Aging Parent?
As a child of an aging parent, especially if you are the primary caregiver, it is important to look for signs of depression and be aware of what may cause it--hearing loss being one of them. It is good to note, however, that depression is treatable. If hearing loss is a main contributor to your parent's feeling depressed, be sure to help them get hearing aids that are comfortable and right for their needs. Consult with a professional, like County Hearing And Balance, about obtaining hearing aids for your parent. If you have any further concerns about mental health and possible treatment, talk with your parent's local doctor. Your parent has a right to find joy in every-day life.