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Hearing Blog

Caring for your spouse when you both have hearing loss

April 6, 2022

If you have read any of my articles over the years, then you will probably have absorbed the fact hearing loss can increase the onset of dementia and Alzheimer’s.   It is a very stressful and tormented position to be in if you are the spouse of a person that is dealt this hand.   Sometimes the person with dementia may be sweet as molasses but on the other hand, they may turn into a mean-spirited and self-centered person.   While you just want the caretaker to be strong and stand up for themselves it is often much easier to go with the flow.  It is a harsh long road for both the caretaker and their spouse with dementia / Alzheimer’s.

While trying to make life as peaceful and easygoing as you possibly can…it is still important that…no matter what… you get time to yourself and that your personal needs are taken care of.  This may cause arguments… but it is important that you stand your ground because your health is just as important as your spouse.   Remember that dementia and Alzheimer’s will get worse and what is remembered one day; may not be the next.  

Statistics show that if you have a hearing loss and do not correct the hearing loss adequately then you can increase the risk and progression of Alzheimer’s by over 37%.  Now, if you are the primary caregiver to your spouse that has dementia or Alzheimer’s you increase the risk of getting this dreaded disease yourself fourfold.   Think about that.  Women who take care of their husbands with dementia are 4 times more likely to get dementia themselves.   Older men who take care of their wives with dementia are twelve times more likely to end up with dementia. 

The reason for this is that caring for a spouse with Alzheimer’s leads to isolation, depression, a feeling of no self-worth, and thus poor personal health.  The spouse is so busy taking care of the needs of the other that it becomes a hassle to take care of themselves.  A new study also shows a greater intellectual decline in the spouse of someone caring for Alzheimer’s.  Maybe you know someone whose spouse is battling Alzheimer’s or dementia.   If you do, try and be a friend and offer some conversation to both of them.  Stimulation helps everyone.  

More than likely the spouse/caregiver will outlive their partner with Alzheimer’s.  It is important that you keep yourself healthy and strong.  This obviously can be difficult.   Your personal needs are just as important as your spouses… whether they think so or not.  Your needs may cause arguments.  Again, your health, your brain…is just as important as theirs.  
Don’t get lost and forget yourself while trying to tend to theirs.  

Keep your doctors appointments, get new glasses so the world is a little clearer, if you need hearing aids then get them…THIS protects YOUR BRAIN.  Remember, just dealing with your spouse with Alzheimer’s increases your risk of getting it by at least 4 times… if you have a hearing loss too then that can speed up the progression by almost 40%.   Find someone who you can confide in and do not be afraid to show your emotions to your partner.   Often people think that neglecting their own needs makes them a better caregiver… but that is not true...  in fact, it is really the opposite.  You can not give proper care if you yourself is suffering from neglect.  Try to do something for yourself every day…even if only for just a few minutes.  Protect YOUR brain.  Try and live your life to the fullest.  Share your concerns with your doctor.   To Hear Better Is To Live Better!


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