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Many of us have a loved one living in an assisted living home or nursing home. If your loved one has hearing loss, there are some simple things you can do to help them manage their hearing loss. For example, you can find ways to encourage them to wear their hearing aids, get extra support from staff, and make sure their hearing aids are working properly.
Hearing Is Important for Everyone
Hearing is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for older adults living in a nursing home. Hearing aids can make all the difference when it comes to clear communication. If your loved one consistently wears their hearing aids, they’ll be able to communicate with staff, enjoy recreational programs, and chat with other residents. Hearing aids can improve their quality of life, reduce stress, and increase feelings of community and connection.
How to Support a Loved One with Hearing Loss in a Nursing Home
The good news is that you can support your loved ones and make it easier for them to hear. If they already have hearing aids, a few simple steps can make a huge difference.
Label Both Hearing Aids
Lots of nursing home residents wear hearing aids, so take a moment to label both hearings aids with your loved one’s name. Hearing aids can be misplaced or left outside their room. If the hearing aids aren’t labeled, they may be lost, tossed, or returned to the wrong resident.
Find a Small Container for Overnight Storage
Hearing aids can also go missing between taking them out at night and putting them on in the morning. They may be lost in the bedsheets or knocked under the bed. Get a small container with a lid and label the container. Help your loved ones get into the habit of placing their hearing aids into the container every night so they don’t get lost. You can also ask the care staff to help your loved one put their hearing aids away each night.
Clean the Hearing Aids
Does your loved one forget to clean their hearing aids? They may not remember to clean their devices, or they may not have the dexterity to do a thorough cleaning. However, hearing aids work a lot better if they’re clean. This prevents the ports from getting blocked and improves sound quality.
It only takes a couple of minutes to clean hearing aids, so whenever you visit your loved one you can support them by cleaning their hearing aids. Wipe them gently with a clean, dry cloth. You can also use a hearing aid pick to remove any buildup of earwax or dirt. If your loved one wears behind-the-ear devices with clear plastic tubes, you can wash the tubing gently in warm water once a week. Allow them to dry thoroughly before reattaching them to the devices.
Check the Batteries
Hearing aids don’t work without power. Whenever you visit your loved one, check their batteries, and change the batteries if they’re dead. You can also ask staff to change the batteries if they notice your loved one is having a hard time hearing. Keep extra batteries on hand and buy new batteries regularly.
Get the Hearing Aids Checked Every Few Months
If you notice any issues with your loved one’s hearing aids, bring them into the office and let us take a look. Getting hearing aids maintenance every 6 months can improve sound quality and catch any issues you may not have noticed. If the hearing aids are working well, your loved one will be more likely to wear them and get all the benefits of better hearing.
Schedule Annual Hearing Tests
One of the best ways you can support your loved one with hearing loss is by scheduling annual hearing tests. We welcome you and your loved one to all appointments. An annual hearing test is a perfect time to make sure their hearing aids are still the best match for their hearing needs.
If their hearing has changed, we can recalibrate the hearing devices to perfectly match their hearing loss and help them enjoy the best sound quality. If they’ve been wearing the same hearing aid for several years, it might be time for an upgrade. You can check out our selection of hearing devices to find the perfect fit.