In our youth and adulthood, social connections can come quite naturally. When they come about in the context of school and work, we meet people, have casual conversations, and sometimes make good friends. Many of our closest relationships come from these contexts, and many people even meet their life partners through relationships that form at school and work. However, once we retire and our children are out of the house, social connections can become a matter of intention and effort. Whereas our jobs at least provided casual conversations around the water cooler and our children’s school events helped to make connections with other parents, retirement doesn’t have the same structure that facilitates social connections. It becomes important in our senior years to maintain social connections as a way to promote physical, mental, and cognitive wellbeing, so many of us have to imagine new ways to connect with others. One way to stay socially connected is to make sure your hearing and communication abilities are as easy as possible. If you have hearing loss, then that will mean getting treatment for your needs. Let’s take a closer look at how getting treatment for hearing loss is a good way to stay socially connected, particularly in our senior years.
Connecting with Others
In retirement, we connect with others in many different ways, ranging from casual conversations with strangers in the community to relating with our families and best friends. This wide range of connections is quite important. Although we benefit from some close and intimate relationships where we can share our deepest thoughts and opinions, we also need to have a wider network of connections to build a feeling of safety and trust in our community. When we feel comfortable moving through our neighborhood, town, and city, we are more likely to get the exercise we need, and these simple interactions help us understand our role in the world, as well. Although these connections are not deep disclosures of our innermost feelings and thoughts, they let us know that we live in a world that is hospitable and safe.
Hearing Loss and Community Connections
When we have untreated hearing loss, many of these connections can be compromised. Conversations with our families and best friends become difficult, and we can be plagued by the sense that we are misunderstanding what these close people are trying to get across. That misunderstanding can make us feel anxious, embarrassed, frustrated, angry, and less willing to have these conversations in the future. Not only are our closest connections compromised, but we can also feel alienated from the broader community through untreated hearing loss. When we need to run errands and communicate with others, these same feelings of frustration and embarrassment can follow us through town, and the negative emotions that are associated with these interactions can be enough to make us avoid going out. Once a retired person experiences social isolation, a chain reaction of other negative effects can occur, including physical health issues and even cognitive decline.
Getting Treatment and Staying Connected
The good news is that getting treatment for hearing loss is a great way to rebuild these community connections and to get the benefits of involvement. When we have hearing aids in place, they can provide a profound benefit to our conversational skills and our understanding of the world. That understanding makes us feel connected to our families, friends, and the general community, and many of the negative feelings of hearing loss can be relieved. If you are ready to seek treatment for hearing loss, the first step you need to take is to contact our offices for a diagnostic exam. We will determine if you have hearing loss and in what ranges of sound it is difficult for you to hear. When your hearing is aided, you can experience the benefits for health, wellbeing, and cognitive clarity longer in life. With these many benefits of social connection in mind, why not make an appointment today. We will guide you through the process of choosing your hearing aids, and we will continue to assist with training and any necessary maintenance or repair down the road. Make your appointment today!