Energizer All Ears survey highlights impact of hearing loss on personal
TORONTO, June 1 /CNW/ - Tune in Canada! More than one in four Canadian
relationships is negatively impacted by hearing loss - so says the results of
Canada's first-ever Energizer All Ears survey. To add to the issue, nearly one
in three Canadians can't recall the last time they had their hearing checked.
With Canada's aging Baby Boomer population these results become even more
alarming with nearly half of the respondents aged 55-64 unable to recall their
last auditory exam.
"Often couples complain that their partner just isn't listening and chalk
it up to selective hearing when in fact they haven't been heard," says Gary
Direnfeld, social worker and relationship expert. "Furthermore, hearing loss
has an insidious onset, meaning that the person affected may not even know it
as it creeps up on him or her, perpetuating all kinds of misunderstanding and
resentment amongst their partner dealing with this issue."
While hearing loss affects Canadians at all stages of life, it's the Baby
Boomer generation who is the most affected and the most "tuned out" on the
issue and experts indicate that this gradual and deepening loss of hearing can
negatively impact their personal relationships.
"Boomer couples already grapple with a lot in life which happens to
coincide with the onset of later life hearing loss," says Mr. Direnfeld. "At
this stage in life it is more important than ever to communicate effectively.
Making sure your partner is not just listening, but truly hears you will help
keep a relationship strong and healthy."
To keep Canadians "tuned in" Mr. Direnfeld recommends the following:
1. Make sure you and your partner truly hear each other. Poor hearing
can lead to frustration between couples, which beget resentment and
retaliation. Being in the same room with the person with whom you're
speaking and positioning yourself face-to-face is the first step to
help mitigate that frustration.
2. Be aware of the factors that get in the way of good communication
between couples. Lack of focus, emotions, past hurts, expectation and
pride all play a part in miscommunication. Don't raise your voice, as
yelling or exaggerating words makes comprehension more difficult.
3. Be mindful of all the physiological and emotional changes that are
impacting couples at this time in their lives - whether it's mid-life
physiological changes that impact both men and women, or the
emotional changes that come as couples adapt to being empty nesters
or new retirees and rediscovering themselves as a couple.
4. Take the necessary steps to ensure you have heard each other.
Establishing eye contact, reducing distractions, such as turning off
background noise, and signaling to each other helps ensure that
couple communication is clear.
5. Get your hearing checked and get help to hear better if needed.
People think nothing of getting or using eyeglasses as their vision
gets poor with age, but often feel there is a stigma attached to
hearing loss and using hearing aids. Technological advancements have
made hearing aids more discreet, allowing couples to benefit from
6. Choose the right batteries for your hearing aids and your specific
needs. For example, Energizer(R) offers zero-mercury hearing aid
batteries in convenient perforated packaging, as well as the
Energizer(R) EZ Change hearing aid battery dispenser, which reduces
the chance of dropping or fumbling the batteries.
About Gary Direnfeld
A social worker with more than 25 years experience, Gary has been deemed
an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development,
parent-child relationships, as well as custody and access matters by Courts in
Ontario. At his private practice located in Dundas, Ontario, he provides
counseling, mediation and assessment services on most matters of family life.
He writes a regular column in The Hamilton Spectator and regularly appears on
Slice Networks' Newlywed Nearly Dead - a show that examines marital
Energizer(C) Holdings, Inc. is a consumer goods company operating
globally in the broad categories of household and personal care products, and
offers solutions in portable power, lighting, wet shave and personal grooming.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. is the parent company of Energizer Battery and
Schick-Wilkinson Sword. Combined, Energizer and Schick(C), operate 23
manufacturing facilities in 14 countries on five continents and market and
sell products in 165 countries. The Canadian headquarters are located in
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