The role of the caregiver

How you can help

50%of those over

75have hearing loss

Hearing loss touches millions

Hearing loss affects millions of people around the world. While its impact is felt mainly by senior citizens (50% of those over 75 have the condition), hearing loss is increasing among baby boomers and young people alike. 

The reasons for hearing loss are many, but advancing age is the most common cause. As we get older, damage can occur to the nerves in the inner ear that relay sound to the brain. This damage is called sensorineural hearing loss. Unfortunately, damage to these nerves is final, so age-related hearing loss is irreversible.

The good news about hearing aids:

  • They can stop a hearing loss, or prevent it from getting worse
  • They successfully treat hearing loss the vast majority of the time
  • Studies show that people are extremely happy with their hearing aids

Hearing loss - not me!


A frequent reaction in people with hearing loss is denial. Because age-related hearing loss occurs gradually, many don't realize it has happened. They think others are mumbling, or background noise is to blame. Some deny the condition because they fear the large looking hearing aids of yesteryear. Others suggest that the family doctor never mentioned anything. Whatever reason someone gives for refuting reality, hearing loss invariably takes its toll on everyday activities, relationships—even a person's mental and physical well-being.

Helping someone accept and act upon hearing loss:

1. Communicate your feelings
2. Reach out to others
3. Research payment options
4. Lead by example
5. Share information on modern hearing solutions
6. Tell "success stories"
7. Ask yourself, do I enable?
8. See a professional hearing care specialist
9. Go together
10. Find, or form, a support group
11. Hang in there!

A special note on Alzheimer's disease and dementia

The findings of a recent major study point to a proven link between untreated hearing loss and the development of Alzheimer's Disease and dementia. Catching and treating hearing loss early can help delay, or prevent, its onset.

Because the symptoms of hearing loss and Alzheimer's disease are similar, it's important to rule out hearing loss if your loved one's behavior is changing.

Finally, if your loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and hearing loss is also present, treating it with hearing aids can help alleviate many of the Alzheimer's symptoms.

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