By Carien de Jager
Change is a very scary word to most of us, but in life change is inevitable. As we age our bodies, minds and life style change to adapt to our current situation.
I am in a very privileged position to be able to help and assist with the changes in hearing that people experience, be it at a young age or later in life. Hearing is the link we have to our world and help us build meaningful relationships with family and friends. Due to many reasons, medical or age-related, hearing change. A gradual change over time due to age or a sudden change due to a medical condition, medication or infection.
A change in hearing can lead to the person with the hearing loss ending up with depression, isolation and even cognitive decline. If the hearing loss is affecting the ease with which we communicate, it may lead to the person staying home, rather than taking part in activities they used to enjoy. The negative result of this is that the cognitive and social stimulation we need to thrive, also declines.
Adapting to the change in hearing and having to accept that wearing a hearing aid is the only solution to the problem, can be difficult. There are many components to a hearing aid fitting more than just fixing the hearing itself. The emotional and psychological components are often forgotten.
By fitting hearing aids, wearing it constantly and having a positive attitude towards the changes in your hearing, the effect of the hearing loss will decrease exponentially. Preventing the cognitive decline associated with hearing loss. Repairing and strengthening your relationships with family and friends and increasing the quality of your life.
The important thing about adapting to change is to be patient with ourselves and above all, kind. We need to remind ourselves that change is hard and requires a flexibility of spirit and attitude.
According to an article in the New York times wisdom can be attributed to three key components: cognition, reflection and compassion. I am very lucky to spend time in the company of a generation of people who understand what it means to age gracefully. Along with this, I have access to all of the wisdom that comes from life experience and it is amazing to see the joy for live come back into a client after a hearing aid fitting.