Asone ages, they experience various body functional changes includingtaste, smell, and vision impairment, skeletal muscle mass, strength,and quality loss, and hearing deterioration. In agreement with Midha& Malik (2015), hearing loss or prebycusis serves as theelderly’s regular sensory deficit making it a serious health andsocial issue. These concerns result from the impairment ofinformational exchange therefore, influencing the day-to-day life,leading to isolation frustration, loneliness, communicationdisorders, and dependence. Owing to the aging population of developednations, prebycusis is a rising issue connected with the reduction oflife quality. Approximately 2% of 45 to 54 year old adults sufferfrom disabling hear loss and the rate rises to 8.5% in 55 to 64 yearold adults (Midha & Malik, 2015). Further, about 25% and 50% of65 to 74 year old and 75 years and older adults suffer from thedisability respectively. The impairment’s progression cannotexperience remedy thus, the standard condition management not onlydemands immediate realization and rehabilitation but also the lifequality evaluation and assessment. In this paper, I will conduct anage-related simulation experiment associated with hearing loss andlater provide a reflection on the process.
Inmy age-centered hearing loss simulation attempt, I aim to appreciatethe age-related changing effects in an individual’s sensory andmotor body function based on their day-to day activities. Anotherobjective is to increase my knowledge regarding the physicalobligations needed in the accomplishment of basic community livingtasks. I also endeavor to increase my sensitivity feelings broughtabout by the impairment and dependence experience during theperformance of functional skills. Lastly, my goal includes exploringmy social and physical surrounding to determine how accessible it iswith the age-related function deterioration.
Themain simulation method I choose to use is utilizing earplugs for anentire day while performing all my regular activities. Through this,I will be able to inhibit my current hearing ability to some extentand ensure that I experience some degree of hearing loss thatpossibly occurs during old age.
SimulationSuccess Rate and Comparability with Present-Age
Mysimulation process to some point was successful particularly whenfaced by my daily social interactions, which involved crowded places.In these places, hearing what people were telling me in a distancebecame more difficult as the day went by. I could hardly follow in onconversations that were passed to me across other streams. Further, Ibecame unaware of the individuals who tried to dialogue with me if Iwas not directly facing them. Owing to this, my age-centeredsimulation successfully replicated the influences of prebycusis whereindividuals develop low sensitivities towards the hearing tones ofhigher frequencies. According to Midha & Malik (2015), myearplugs managed to effectively impede my ability to hear high tonefrequencies compared to the lower tone frequencies. Therefore, it ismost likely that I experienced an audibility curve that is quitesimilar to people suffering from prebycusis. The higher tonedecreased intensity barred me from efficiently assessing my auditoryspace as I could have in my normal hearing state.
Thesounds and voices in my simulation state, which I would have noproblem differentiating in my present-age hearing abilities,experienced a mix. In agreement with Midha & Malik (2015), myhearing reduction due to the earplugs possibly presented a limitationin my pitch and timbre range. With this, I could not distinguishbetween different sounds and voices in my surrounding. To ensure thatI took part in a conversation sufficiently, I would pay activeattention to individuals than usual rather than depend on my abilityto automatically separate sounds. Further, in my present age, I wouldbe able to have more than one conversation with different people at ago however, during my age simulation process, I had to concentratefully on one conversation so that I grasp the topic without missingon some information.
Livingwith the hearing loss limitations for a day became more difficult asI got into more noisy and crowed areas. My first difficulty infollowing a conversation happened while watching a football match onthe television. I was in the company of my friends who simultaneouslydialoged in front and across me as the game went on. During thistime, I could not hear anything being said in the television as thetalks between the two football commentators presented itself asbackground noise. Throughout that time, I could only comprehend somewords since the commentators seemed to speak in broken apart orincomplete sentences. The whole event frustrated me since I haddifficulties in following what was going on around me and catching upon my favorite game. It became more difficult and the only way Icould concentrate on the happenings of my surrounding at that timewas to lean closer to the television set with my head being in frontof the ongoing conversation across me. After sometime, I gave up ontrying catching up with both activities and decided to concentratefully on watching football since coordinating multiple conversationsbecame extremely difficult.
Similarly,at lunchtime, it became more challenging for me to hear what peoplewhere talking about at distant sitting positions of the table. Eventhough, the cafeteria seemed crowed some difficulty was experiencedwith hearing the individuals sitting at close proximity. Thecafeteria noise most likely played a part on my failure to hear myfriends clearly. Their voices sounded too soft and their speech toodistant to allow me to hear. In such instances, I was forced toalways ask them to repeat what they have said so that I can grasp it.The process became very cumbersome because I could not go for twominutes without asking someone to repeat his or her statements.
Fromthe two experiences, frustration made me withdraw from my friendsduring day since I could not catch up with their prompt communicationskills. I stayed alone and rarely tried to strike a conversation withanyone considering how difficult it could be to follow. I also stayedaway from crowded areas for the rest of the day ensuring that I limitmy social interactions as much as possible. The loneliness Iexperienced throughout my day became a bit depressing as time went bydue to the lack of normal interaction. I became more angry andunsettled with things that I could normally ignore.
HearingLimitations and Experiment Outcome
Myhearing limitations involved an inadequate ability to comprehendconversations that surrounded me during my daily routine. Using myearplugs, I effectively manage to appreciate the age-related changesin the ability to hear when performing everyday activities. Iunderstood how difficult it could be to follow up on dialogues withcolleagues especially in a crowded setting. Further, I understood theneed for one to practice patience in talking to people suffering fromprebycusis since they need to focus utterly to make a sensibleconversation. I became aware that the physical and social environmentfor the elderly suffering from hearing loss could be harsh especiallyduring comprehension. They most likely would end up doing theopposite of what they have been told because of miscommunication,which people in younger ages could easily grasp.
Itwas apparent that during the loss of hearing, other feelings alsodevelop depending on their dependence on people. The elderlysuffering from this condition tend to feel lonelier and ultimatelywithdraw from the social scenes resulting from communicationfrustration. On top of that, these individuals may become angrier dueto lack of proper interactions with others, which people in theirpresent age enjoy, making them happier. It became evident that duringmy experiment I understood that elders suffering from prebycusis needsome physical requirements that may include hearing aids and the helpof the people to interact socially and physically, as much as, theyounger aged individuals.
Theage-centered simulation process managed to explore all my objectivesand successfully executed them. The process ensured that I understoodalmost exactly what hearing loss can do to the elderly and providedme with the insight of how difficult the situation can be. It alsomade me appreciate the changes in the elderly even more since theprocesses are inevitable and need understanding to get by.
Individualand Societal Perbycusis Support
Themain support that an individual or the society can give to peoplewith perbycusis included eliminating the stigma surrounding the topicof interest. Removing these stereotypes ensures that the elderly feelcomfortable voicing their condition to the concerned professionalsguaranteeing their prompt diagnosis and help. The only way ofgrounding the stigma involves raising more awareness on the issue byorganizing society events including walks or rallies. These awarenesscampaigns will help people understand the condition better and feelfree to seek medical attention. They will know that even though thehearing loss process is linked with a maturing age, it is not aninevitable condition of ageing (Midha & Malik, 2015). Withappropriate treatment, the hearing loss negative outcomes canexperience significant reduction to allow the elderly to work,socialize, and live normally.
Additionally,the society can strive to create programs that allow the elderly tobenefit from hearing aids. These hearing aids aim to help the olderindividuals to hear better eradicating the negative consequencesassociated with hearing loss. There are very distinct benefits thatpeople suffering from prebycusis have from using hearing aids. Midha& Malik (2015) claim they often prevent the onset of depressionand sadness, paranoia, insecurity, social inactivity, anxiety andworry, and emotional turmoil. Consequently, they experience betterrelationship interactions with the community and family, an improvedmental health, enhanced personal feelings, and great security andindependence. With this, hearing aids demonstrate and improve social,emotional, and psychological wellbeing of the elderly suffering fromhearing loss.
Asan individual, I plan to be more patient and understanding withpeople suffering from age-centered hearing loss and engage involunteering activities relating to the condition. I would alsoencourage the elderly people to visit the doctor regularly so thatthey can get an early diagnosis, which will ensure fast reduction ofthe effects. I will strive to communicate with the elderlyeffectively to ensure that they understand what I am trying to tellthem without using endearment terms that may come across as babytalk. Additionally, I will use low-pitched voices since older adultsfind it hard to comprehend variable and high pitches because veryvariable pitches produce irritating tones while high pitchesassociate with hearing problems (Midha & Malik, 2015). As anindividual, I will also avoid using simple vocabulary whileconversing since the elderly individuals often sustain their normalvocabulary or continuously improve on it. They can appropriatelyunderstand complicated words at the same capacity as members ofdifferent age groups making it effective to use general language.Further, I will not tire when it comes to repeating my statementsuntil they fully comprehend the information being passed.Additionally, I will make sure that when conversing with the elderly,the sound volumes of surrounding activities remain low so that peoplesuffering from prebycusis find it easy to focus on criticalinformation.
Aftermy age-centered simulation experiment, I will definitely have tochange how I interact with older individuals. Due to the difficultiesthe older adults experience during conversations in crowded areas, Iwill aim to maintain sharp eye contact without having split focus. Incases of prebycusis, I would increase my speech volume withoutheightening it and present my information very clearly. Further, Iwill avoid shouting because unnaturally loud voices ten to raise thevoice pitch volume presenting hearing difficulties, which affectcomprehension. Once I do these things, I believe that I will make thelife of the elderly people suffering from prebycusis easier sincethey will manage to follow up conversations and comprehendinformation suitably.
Further,I aim to increase my interest and engagement in awareness campaignsthat affect the elderly adults because it these functional changes atsome point influences everyone. I will do this by identifying withbodies that deal with the same issues and bring forth my ideas on howto improve the lives of the elderly. To actualize this effectually, Iwill firstly recognize my individual stereotypic beliefs concerningolder adults and strive to change my attitude towards them. I willstrike conversations with professionals who will play a big role inhelping me understand the condition fully and the reason behind itsonset.
Theaging process brings forth many effects to individuals that mayinclude hearing, vision, mobility, and mental loss. Theseconsequences differ across individuals and need to be understood byeveryone. Through, simulation processes, people of all ages can tosome degree experiences the daily struggles of the elderly. Theseprocesses are effective in ensuring that people understand theconditions and strive to change so that they can accommodate olderadults in the best way possible. The acceptance allows elderindividuals to develop well mentally, psychologically, socially, andphysically.
Midha,P., & Malik, S. (2015). Does Hearing Impairment Affect Quality ofLife of Elderly?. IndianJournal Of Gerontology,29(1),46-61