UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (37) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next
Author: WendyBG Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 459148  
Subject: Re: Hearing loss correlates w/ dementia Date: 2/13/2013 1:06 PM
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Recommendations: 7
<I just don't buy hearing loss aiding dementia. Correlations are constantly mixed with causation, and even correlation is mixed with the degree items are correlated. Isolation could be a factor, but what causes THAT level of isolation.>

I think that there are several possible causes for the correlation of hearing loss with dementia. It's more useful to try to sort them out than to try to force a one-size-fits-all.

There is absolutely no question that social isolation exacerbates dementia. This has been demonstrated conclusively by studies of large populations of elderly.

The human brain absolutely needs social stimulation. The statistical evidence between loneliness (subjective experience of isolation) and dementia is so convincing that I began to invite women friends over for tea regularly and deliberately developed several local, face-to-face friendships that hopefully will endure the test of time. If "Big Pharma" could develop an anti-dementia drug that was as effective as social interaction, it would be a blockbuster.

Severe hearing loss does cause social isolation. The effect may be gradual, but it is easily observed. First, you mentioned "fights" between you and your wife because she misheard or didn't hear what you said. Marriage is the most important social interaction.

If your wife's hearing loss is causing problems with you (who loves her the most), imagine what might happen with family, friends and co-workers. They might accidentally offend her because she misheard what they said. They might gradually lose interest in trying to communicate with her as her hearing worsens. I have some friends with hearing loss and our conversations are more difficult since I can't be sure how much of what I say they can hear. I have a neighbor who seems likeable and sociable but he can't hear so I don't bother trying to talk with him (though I do smile and give a treat to his dog).

As a person ages and his/her hearing gradually worsens, friends and family may gradually stop trying to socialize. Eventually, the person can be socially isolated because few will try to talk with them. They can feel lonely -- that is what can lead to dementia.

Many women are very sensitive to any implication that they are aging because society devalues older women. I think it's rather hard for men to understand just how emotionally vulnerable women are to the fear that they will become old and their husband will desert them. That's not vanity -- it's far deeper than vanity.

If you intend to convince your wife to admit her hearing loss and use her hearing aids, you have to (1) convince her that there is scientific evidence that they are essential to her long-term health and (2) you will love her regardless of her physical condition and (3) you will love her even more if you know that she can hear you when you whisper "sweet nothings."

Wendy
Post New | Post Reply | Reply Later | Create Poll . Report this Post | Recommend it!
Print the post  
UnThreaded | Threaded | Whole Thread (37) | Ignore Thread Prev | Next

Announcements

Pencils of Promise - Back to School Drive
"Pencils of Promise works with communities across the globe to build schools and create programs that provide education opportunities for children."
Managing Your Wealth
Our own TMFHockeypop from Rule Your Retirement fame on the TV show Managing Your Wealth.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Community Home
Speak Your Mind, Start Your Blog, Rate Your Stocks

Community Team Fools - who are those TMF's?
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and "#1 Media Company to Work For" (BusinessInsider 2011)! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.
Advertisement