Never Too Late; A Gift for the Grandparents & Grandchildren

December 20, 2016

Benefits of Connection

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The circle of family can be the integral place where children learn how to thrive. As we now have a longer life expectancy, more children than ever before are receiving the opportunity of experiencing intergenerational households and specifically more time with their grandparents.

The connection between the young and old is one of great importance especially  the energy and time grandparents often  generously offer. With a wealth of life experience, the elderly are in an excellent position to pass on their knowledge, share experiential learning and teach significant values.

There are genuine positive mental health benefits as well to the relationship between grandparent and grandchild. Sara Moorman, an Associate Sociology professor at Boston College, reports on a study conducted by the Institute of Aging saying that

“We found that an emotionally close grandparent-adult grandchild relationship was associated with fewer symptoms of depression for both generations,” [source].

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Hearing Loss is a Widespread Disability

Hearing Loss affects a larger population than one might suspect with an estimate of over 30% of older adults experiencing it. Living in a world of diminishing sound can be isolating. Hearing loss often makes it difficult to communicate with family and loved ones.  It causes one to withdraw from interactions and group settings or answer ‘yes’, without understanding what is being said. When one misses out, it can lead to serious miscommunication and even rifts in a relationship.

Medical research also suggests that hearing impairment can contribute to personality changes and have cascading negative health effects.

This study found that cognitive decline  tends to happen faster when elderly adults suffered from hearing impairment.

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Life Changing Treatment Possibilities

Hearing loss may deteriorate slowly over time or happen remarkably fast. The type of hearing loss and other factors are part of the criteria for determining who might be eligible for a cochlear- or BAHA implant. When an individual suffers from what has been termed Profound or Severe hearing loss it means that they struggle to identify even the loudest sounds. It also means that one’s speech scores have deteriorated to the point that even with the use of a hearing aid, words are understood less than half of the time. The first step is receiving an evaluation by a qualified audiologist.

Treating hearing loss successfully is an important part of restoring the ability to participate and stay active.

These inspirational stories give insight into just how much a difference being able to hear can make in senior’s life.

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True Life Inspiration

Hear and read (video is close-captioned) about Carol’s story. Despite being aware of hereditary hearing loss in the family, her sudden loss of hearing at 50 was heart-breaking for her and her family. cochlear implant surgery restored her ability to participate fully in her life and engage with the people closest to her.

Mary Ellen first thought her television was broken before being diagnosed with hearing loss. After an assessment by an audiologist she learned that she was a candidate for receiving a cochlear implant. Mary underwent the procedure at 80 years young, which steered her life in a sure turn for the better.

Take a closer look at how the life of Hedwig Christophe was affected by hearing loss in this inspiring video ‘Life Sounds Great’. At 99 years old she received a cochlear implant and is elated with the connections that the device enables. See how her relationship with her children and sound was changed, as she said “It’s like a different world” in this follow up report.

For more true stories of lives changed by treatment of Hearing loss see these stories, told in their own words here.

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Possibilities at Any Age

There is no upper age limit on who can benefit from Cochlear Technology.

“The elderly are often incorrectly considered too fragile for this life transforming technology that can deliver them from a world of silence and loneliness to a world of hearing and engagement,”

stated Dr. Lalwani. Dr. Lalwani participated in this study carried out by the New York University School of Medicine. The findings discovered that contrary to conventional medical thinking cochlear implant surgery is considered a safe procedure for the Elderly and can be conducted with minimal risk. It generally takes around two hours and is an outpatient surgery.

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Always Time for New Beginnings

- Getting tested is the first step towards minimizing damage and finding treatment.  The University of Pretoria has created this HearZA app, approved by Audiologists as a simple and effective way to test your hearing out at home or on the go.

- Raise the awareness of hearing loss with your children and employ safe listening volume restrictions on the technology they use.

- Transform any concern over parents, grandparents, and loved ones into positive action. Proactively address the limited hearing abilities of the elderly by enlisting the services of an audiologist.

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Southern ENT is the sole provider of the world class Cochlear™ Technology in South Africa. With a team of dedicated experts we strive to make a difference, one Implant at a time, and the life-long journey ahead.

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If you feel your parent or loved one could benefit from an assessment. Contact Southern ENT to be put in touch with an audiology clinic near you; to evaluate whether the sound saving technology of Cochlear™ is an option for your family.

For any information or advice, please call our offices on 011 667 6243

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