Category Archives: Assisted Living

Hearing Loss in Older Adults

Hearing loss adds to the misconceived stereotype that older adults are “slow,” which is almost always not the case! Identifying and treating hearing loss head on will help to avoid the negative notions that come with it.

Older adults who let their hearing loss go untreated sometimes become angry, lonely or depressed, which in turn could affect  their mental and even physical health. That’s why early detection is important in dealing with the complications of hearing loss. Identifying, accepting, and treating this sensitive issue is key to maintaining  cognitive function  as we grow older. 

Identifying hearing loss

Age-related hearing loss (also known as presbycusis) usually affects both ears equally  and develops gradually as a person grows older. Someone with presbycusis may not even realize that they lost some hearing at first due to the slow progression of decline. 

Consult a doctor about hearing loss if you or a family member displays the following symptoms frequently: 

  • Trouble hearing over the phone, computer or other smart devices 
  • Difficulty following conversations when multiple people are talking
  • Often asking people to repeat what they are saying 
  • Often think that others mumble when they talk
  • Feel the need to turn up volume on TVs, radios, and other devices, to the point that others complain about the excessive volume
  • Have problems hearing due to distant background noise
  • Cannot decipher softer voice registers, especially among women and children

How to handle hearing loss 

After identifying the extent of hearing loss with your doctor, it’s important to take the following steps: 

  • Notify family, friends, and others about your hearing problem;
  • Ask people to talk to you at a reasonable pace and volume. Also, make sure they are facing you when speaking. Pay close attention to the facial expressions and gestures of others when they are talking;
  • If someone is talking to you, let the person know if you do not understand something they said; and
  • Always try to find quieter spots to have conversations with others.

However, the most important thing you can do to achieve the best results is to seek professional treatment or advice from a doctor or other hearing loss experts, like an ENT (ear, nose and throat), or audiologist. 

Devices to help

Luckily, there are many devices to help aid hearing loss. Before purchasing a device, find out if your health insurance will cover the costs. In most cases, insurance will cover most of the cost, if not all! Also, it’s worth it to ask for a trial period to ensure the device is a right fit for the long haul. 

Hearing aids vary in size, cost, and features offered. It’s important to ask a doctor or specialist about which type of hearing aid they recommend based on the extent of your hearing loss. While the smallest hearing aids are most appealing, they can sometimes be the least effective. 

Cochlear implants are complex electronic devices that provide a sense of sound to people with extreme hearing loss. Part of the device must be surgically implanted within the ear. Hearing through a cochlear implant is much different than a hearing aid and requires significant follow-up therapy to learn a new way of hearing. 

Alerting devices connect to a doorbell, phone or alarm and emit loud sounds, vibrations or flashing lights. Their purpose  is to let someone with hearing loss know that something that requires their attention is happening nearby. 

Hearing assistance at UMC at Collingswood

Here at United Methodist Communities at Collingswood, we understand the struggles that come with hearing loss and provide individualized care to each resident. Our highly trained associates and medical professionals are available 24/7 to provide technological support with hearing aid devices, as well as emotional support to ease the complications of hearing loss. 

To find out more about the associates and medical professionals at UMC at Collingswood in Camden County, please contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoying the Summer Sunlight – Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D and calcium are vital for healthy bones, but older adults are likely to suffer from a deficiency in these two important nutrients. This is because our ability to absorb nutrients decreases as our bodies get older. Here are some insights from our assisted living team in Cape May County, NJ, on why this happens and what you can do about it.

Why Seniors are at Risk of Vitamin D Deficiency

As we age, certain changes take place that make it more difficult to supply the body with a healthy amount of calories and other nutrients. This includes:

  • Loss of appetite, which is very common amongst seniors.
  • Decreased absorption of nutrients by the small intestine and inability of the cells to adapt to lower levels of nutrients.
  • Less frequent exposure to sunlight, which is needed for the body to synthesize Vitamin D, and the skin’s ability to synthesize Vitamin D also decreases with age.
  • The kidney’s ability to convert Vitamin D into its most active form decreases with age.
  • Seniors spend more time indoors, especially when living in an assisted living facility or if they have mobility issues. The lack of sunshine over the winter months makes it even more of a challenge to getting the recommended amount of Vitamin D.

Why Vitamin D is Important for Seniors

Vitamin D is important at every stage of life, keeping muscles, tendons and bones healthy and strong. It also performs an important function in regulating the growth and development of different tissues in the body, keeping muscles functional and carrying messages through the nervous system.

In a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that seniors between the ages of 65 and 88 who have a Vitamin D deficiency were twice as likely to have a physical limitation than similarly aged seniors with healthy Vitamin D levels. 70% of the seniors with the deficiency were also more likely to develop further physical limitations.

Vitamin D therefore plays an important role in keeping seniors active, healthy and independent, and it’s important that these nutrient levels are monitored and supplemented as needed. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends that the average senior requires 800 – 100 IU/day, increasing to as much as 2000 IU/day for seniors with limited sun exposure or suffer from obesity, osteoporosis or malabsorption.

Visit Our Assisted living Cape May County NJ – A Community that Promotes Senior Independence

The Shores is part of the United Methodist Communities network of high-quality, non-profit assisted living communities specializing in independent living for seniors. With an experienced care and assistance team, scalable services customized to each resident’s needs, and a lively social calendar, we focus our community to provide essential resources that promote independence and quality of life.