Archive for February, 2017

Physical Changes of Aging: Loss Of Hearing.

Hearing loss is another physical change that seniors experience. Approximately one in three seniors between the ages of 55 – 74 have hearing loss and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. Also, research shows that men are more likely to have hearing loss than women. Having hearing loss issues can disrupt a lot of activities of daily living for seniors, it can take away independence and the ability to socialize with friends and family. It can greatly impact communication and functional ability as well.

Hearing disorders can also disrupt the balance in the inner ear, which will likely lead to a fall, causing serious injuries.

Causes of Hearing Loss:

  • Hearing loss occurs due to old age. Age related hearing loss, most often occurs in both ears gradually.
  • Lifetime exposure to loud noise. A very good example are people whose career paths have been Factory workers, Construction workers, Airport workers, Musicians etc. Working in professions like these can over the years build up issues with loss of hearing.
  • Hearing loss can also be caused by viral or bacterial infections.
  • A severe head injury or brain injury can also affect hearing.
  • Genes can also play a role.

Treatment Options are :

  • The use of a hearing aid.
  • Assistive listening devices.
  • Surgical Implants.
  • Lip or speech reading and sign language.

Hearing Loss if left untreated could lead to deafness and seniors who do not address their hearing loss put their lives at risk for example if a senior is unable to hear emergency warnings such as car horns or smoke alarms.
It is advisable for seniors to have their hearing tested at least once a year to prevent avoidable injuries.

Physical Changes Of Aging: Loss of Vision.

According to a write up from the American Foundation for the blind (www.afb.org), 6.5 million Americans over the age of 65 have a severe visual impairment. Vision loss can greatly affect the well-being of older adults in many ways.

A lot of visually impaired seniors experience difficulty performing the activities of daily living (ADL) such as : Finance management,cooking, shopping,reading, showering, recreational activities, participating social activities and all other personal needs. And once these difficulties are noticed, it sometimes lets in depression. Some common vision reducing eye problems include:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Dry eye
  • Age related macular degeneration.

One of the ways to avoid loss of vision is early preventive care. The earlier it’s detected the better the chances of avoiding loss of vision.

  • Going for regular vision appointments at least every two years.
  • Keeping a healthy diet.
  • Exercising more frequently
  • Physical exams to check for diabetes and high blood pressure
  • No smoking

And if seniors are already experiencing some loss of vision, here are some tips that can make a difference around their homes:

  • Installing proper lighting around the home is helpful
  • Using braille, audio tapes and reading large font books.
  • Labeling important thing around the home.
  • Removing clutters around the home.

Finally, getting in touch with nonprofit organizations involved with seniors affected by loss of vision can greatly help. Examples of such organizations are : Pennsylvania association for the blind (www.pablind.org) ,American solution for the blind (www.afb.org).

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