Why Seniors Need Their Independence and How to Become Even More Independent as You Age
It is well known that in the month of July, we celebrate the Independence of our great country, but what about the independence of our great senior citizens? Seniors, like people of all age groups, benefit greatly from maintaining their independence. Regaining independence can maintain the individual’s dignity, improve their quality of life, empower them in their self-reliance, and contribute to their mental and emotional well-being. “Independence gives seniors a sense of purpose. They have opportunities for achievement, can contribute to the lives of their family, friends, and neighbors, and enjoy activities that they’ve always done.”¹
Is There a Connection Between Independent Living and Hearing Loss?
If your goal is to regain your independence, then treating your hearing loss is vital. “As you age, structures inside the ear start to change and their functions decline. Your ability to pick up sounds decreases. You may also have problems maintaining your balance as you sit, stand, and walk.”²
Hearing loss can have an impact on a person’s sense of independence, mostly because adults with hearing loss will require more assistance, are perceived as confused or befuddled, and tend to feel isolated and ignored (which is not the same as being perceived as independent). They may even be considered a burden. But hearing loss does not necessarily mean that independence is completely lost. With the right support, treatment plan, and neural technologies, individuals with hearing loss can continue to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
Eight (8) Ways to Regain or Maintain Your Independence
Regaining independence as we age is an important goal for many individuals. While the aging process can present certain challenges, there are several steps you can take to promote independence and maintain a fulfilling and autonomous lifestyle. Here are some suggestions:
1. Stay physically active.
Engaging in regular exercise and physical activity can help improve strength, flexibility, and balance. This, in turn, can enhance your mobility and reduce the risk of falls and injuries. Consult with your healthcare provider to determine the types of exercises that are suitable for your age and health condition.
2. Eat a nutritious diet.
Proper nutrition is essential for maintaining good health and energy levels. Ensure your diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Stay hydrated and be mindful of portion sizes to maintain a healthy weight.
3. Manage chronic conditions.
If you have any chronic health conditions, work closely with your healthcare provider to manage them effectively. This may involve taking medications as prescribed, attending regular check-ups, and making necessary lifestyle modifications.
4. Adapt your living environment.
Make modifications to your home to enhance safety and accessibility. Install handrails in bathrooms and along staircases, improve lighting, remove tripping hazards, and consider assistive devices such as grab bars or shower chairs. These modifications can greatly reduce the risk of accidents and promote independence.
5. Stay mentally active.
Engaging in mental stimulation helps maintain cognitive function and independence. Read books, solve puzzles, play memory games, learn new skills, or consider taking up hobbies or activities that challenge your mind.
7. Maintain social connections.
Staying socially active is crucial for emotional well-being. Regularly interact with family, friends, and peers. Join community groups, participate in local events, or consider volunteering. Engaging with others can combat feelings of isolation and contribute to a sense of purpose and independence.
8. Recognize signs of hearing loss or tinnitus.
Maintaining your hearing health is vital in preventing cognitive decline. Hearing loss can cause loss of balance and make falling more likely. Tinnitus can impact sleep, ability to concentrate, and interaction with daily life. Starting to experience any buzzing, whooshing, or white noise in the ears could be tinnitus. Early detection and management of hearing loss and tinnitus can help prevent cognitive decline and maintain independence.
Remember, regaining independence is a gradual process, and it’s important to be patient and persistent. Celebrate small victories and seek support when needed. Seeking guidance from the hearing specialists at Everything Hearing can provide personalized advice and resources to support hearing health and independence.
Hearing Loss Treatment Options in Meridian and Caldwell, ID
At Everything Hearing in Meridian and Caldwell, Idaho, we specialize in the personal treatment of hearing loss that goes well beyond traditional hearing aids. (And of course, we provide hearing aids for purchase or lease!) Our practice goes beyond the traditional audiology treatments.
Since everyone’s hearing loss differs, we use various tools to treat individual hearing loss. Some of these treatment tools include:
• Cognivue screenings
• Listening and communication enhancement auditory training
• Aural rehabilitation software
• And of course, technology treatments such as hearing aids
We have two Idaho locations, in Caldwell and in Meridian, so that we are easily accessible to anyone in the Treasure Valley area who is seeking to learn more about their hearing loss and the Technical Treatment Plan options we offer. Contact us for a free booklet with more information or make an appointment today!
²Medline Plus: Aging Changes In the Senses