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HEALTH   -   SENIORS
Grow Older, Grow Better
September, 2013 - Issue #107
News from Hearing Expert Nola Aronson
Hearing Loss Affects the Whole Family

by Nola Aronson, MA

Hearing loss is invisible, but its effects are not. Hearing loss can tear at the fabric of family life. Communication and keeping up with the latest family news is what keeps us connected. Difficulty communicating with a spouse or parent because of untreated hearing loss can add unnecessary stress and frustration to relationships. It also leads to misunderstandings and feelings of isolation.

Hearing loss usually happens gradually. Many people do not realize how much hearing loss impacts those around them. They may not realize how much they are missing and how everyone has adapted, often by unwittingly leaving the person with hearing loss out of the mainstream of conversation because of the effort involved. They may not acknowledge that they have stopped doing activities or seeing people they once enjoyed because they cannot hear clearly.

We offer these suggestions to encourage a loved one to have a hearing evaluation and to try hearing aids if they are recommended:
• Create awareness of the hearing problem. Gently draw attention when something was missed or misunderstood. Show them how their untreated hearing loss affects relationships with their loved ones.
• Enlist the help of other family members or their physician to encourage getting the hearing evaluation as a first step toward better hearing.
• Discuss why he or she is unwilling to take action and discuss their objections in a supportive way. Often people have misinformation about the process or are afraid of the image of wearing hearing aids. Demonstrate that hearing loss shows more than any hearing aid ever could.
• Accompany them to the evaluation to understand what is involved in the process toward better hearing. Listening to a familiar voice when trying hearing aids will reinforce the benefit.
• Be patient, supportive and maintain your sense of humor!

If you or a loved one would like to schedule a free hearing screening call Nola Aronson's Advanced Audiology. 877-4555

Sharpen the Mind, Lift the Spirit
As we age, we all know that not everything in our body works as well as it once did.

Joints ache, we can't bend over as far or as easily and it seems that adding numbers in our head is more difficult. We do slow down as we age, yet it also appears that with the proper stimulation and exercise, we can keep our bodies acting younger than our chronological age - and also can make our minds sharper.

Neurological research shows that the creation and growth of new brain cells is improved if we continue to stimulate the brain in new and varied ways.

Exercising the brain can:
• improve attention span
• increase blood flow
• strengthen brain synapses
• promote neurogenesis

The idea is to not just "do cross-word puzzles" but also to maintain a varied activity schedule. For example:
• develop a scrapbook or recipe book
• takes trips to the zoo
• go to a museum that the elderly person may have never seen, or saw many years ago
• take naps, as sleep allows new brain cell growth
• go on picnics to different parks in your area
• begin to learn a new language with the elder person
• expand on an existing hobby or start a new hobby
• involve the senior in meal planning

The list is endless. Even engaging in some new activity once per week might be enough to stimulate new brain cell growth and ward off some neurological illness. At the very least, it would be fun! With new activities come smiles and laughter - what a great way to live! Visiting Angels 263-2273

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock



Can you help make the inaugural Santa Clarita "Walk to End Alzheimer's" a success? Consider forming a team to participate in this fun, inspiring event scheduled for September 21 at Bridgeport Park in Valencia.

You don't have to walk in the event to join a team or make a donation. If you raise $100 or more, you'll get a special tee shirt for your efforts! This event will be lots of fun, with music, food vendors and ways to honor loved ones who've been impacted by the disease.

A team can be a family or a group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, classmates... any group of any age or ability can participate, raise funds and make a difference for people dealing with Alzheimer's Disease.

Just go online to www.alz.org/socal to register your team. Or call the Santa Clarita Walk to End Alzheimer's Teams Committee. They would be happy to sign you up and share news about the next Teams Rally event. Geneva Knoles and Kathy Tucker, both of Visiting Angels, are ready to help you help the Alzheimer's Association! Reach them at
gknoles@visitingangels.com or ktucker@visitingangels.com.
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