Connect2Affect: How to truly be a good neighbor

We are just about 1 week away from National Good Neighbor Day! The AARP is framing this year’s holiday as an opportunity to combat isolation among seniors, which is a growing health epidemic.

Great! What does that have to do with audiology?

Although my practice is based in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss, my patients are really receiving a pathway to healthy aging. On any given day I see adults from all different stages of life and levels of functioning. Regardless of their age, I like to believe that I am keeping my patients from joining the 1 in 5 older adults suffering from isolation. Avoidance of isolation and pursuing healthy aging are two main themes that we stress to all of our patients, and these are directly achieved through hearing care.

It is never too early to start thinking about brain health and maximizing a person’s engagement with surroundings. In a time when people are physically living longer than ever, we find a greater need to prolong ones healthy years and subsequently fill the later years with quality, meaning and purpose. This means keeping the mind stimulated, as opposed to limited. As a person ages, sensory limitations often arise which may not be handicapping on their own, but pose a greater risk to ones overall sense of self and participation with others.

What is isolation? It can present itself as: general loneliness, dwelling on the fact that most friends have passed away, acting withdrawn in social settings, feeling like a burden, repeated excuses that it’s too hard to go anywhere. No one is immune to these feelings, but very often there are ways to help.

Isolation is a widespread issue which relies on all of us “Good Neighbors” to have the awareness, insight and compassion to jump in and take action. Hence the AARP’s slogan for National Good Neighbor Day, #Connect2Affect. If you notice a relative, friend or neighbor who is starting to fade away, or just isn’t who they used to be, and you are wondering how to help them, please consider the fact that most human beings crave connection with others. There are so many ways to impact someone’s life in this manner, by simply including them and showing that you care. And of course, by seeking rehabilitation for the senses that may have become limited due to age or other health conditions. The sense of hearing is vital for maximizing connections with others.

Having received my undergraduate degree in the field of Psychology, I always frame my treatment plans in this perspective. Hearing is the interface between me and you. Keeping the ears turned on is just one method of keeping a person’s mind stimulated. It allows us to connect socially, instead of withdrawing when conversations are unclear. Social interaction is good for your spirits as well as brain health, as it keeps the language and memory areas of the brain active.

We see many people who feel empowered by their new hearing capabilities, so they start getting together with friends again or attending lectures at the local senior center- which in turn boosts their sense of purpose and well-being.

Seniors who take care of their health, and specifically their brain health through social activity, make my heart soar! I have the privilege of knowing many mature adults who keep themselves connected, as well as those who mostly stay at home and watch television alone. There is often a qualitative difference in their presenting mood or interactions with me (of course there are exceptions to this, as well as unfortunate reasons why someone may be truly homebound– in that case, we always try to make the most of that reality and offer home visits). It is now well understood that untreated hearing loss and social isolation is associated with accelerated cognitive decline, and hearing status is one potentially modifiable risk factor for dementia.

There are so many people out there who live daily struggling with age-related hearing loss, not realizing that they have a hearing loss and thinking that their mind is just getting “old.” As a Good Neighbor, we must urge our friends not to give up on themselves! Gently ask them if they’ve checked their hearing recently. Having access to hearing healthcare helps sustain meaningful interactions for longer, thus keeping the mind active and healthy. In our practice, we have a much greater goal than just hearing aids: we help our patients be more active and engaged, living their years to their fullest.

Awareness and action are key. Connecting with your elderly neighbor can truly affect their well-being.

I am a Good Neighbor… are you?


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Best In Class Innovation!

Most of the myths that you’ve heard about hearing aids are just myths.
Modern medicine is seamlessly re-connecting our patients to the sounds they love, without the squealing or bulkiness of the past. To quote one of our patients, “Boy, am I lucky to be getting my hearing aids nowadays when this incredible technology is available! What would I have done if I needed this 20 years ago?”
Our patients are fit with the finest technology available, and we continuously update our offerings with the newest devices on the market.
#latest #hearingresearch #invisible #sharp #clear #neurotechnology #skysthelimit
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Mind your meals, ladies!

Blueberries In A Pitcher, Coffee Cup, & Flower Filled Vase

Mind your meals, ladies! 

A recent study from the Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that healthy eating habits may help protect against age-related hearing loss.

The healthy-eating women in the study (with over 22 years of analysis) were 30% less likely to have a moderate or worse hearing loss!

Table from Your Guide to Lowering Your Blood Pressure with DASH, courtesy of Beetnik.

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Hear better, laugh better!

Happy Boy Laughing

The joke sounds best the first time around. Care for your ears and we will help you hear the punchline!

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What our patients are saying about us…

Embracing The Life New Improved Hearing Can Give

Every office should be like this! You don’t see this anymore, the individual attention. This is exactly what I need.

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Save Your Ears (& thank me later!)

Noisy Bar

We are seeing more and more people in the food/beverage and entertainment industry with noise-induced hearing loss due to daily exposure to noise at their events. Here are some tips to keep hearing aids at bay.

1. Be smart and cover up those ears! These are your ears for life and you will need them in order to continue working.
2. Annual hearing exams will let you know how fast your work is affecting you.

Tag a friend who needs a gentle nudge about this topic 

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Olympics 2018!

United States Olympics Team Badge

Conquering your hearing loss may seem like a far-off goal, but we encourage you to #goforgold!

Let us help you achieve your very own personal victory, and hear in ways you didn’t think were possible.

#olympics#pyeongchang2018 #teamusa #millbasinaudiologist

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Superbowl 2018!

Baby Boy Can Hear That

Congratulations to the #PhiladelphiaEagles upon their #victory in #SuperbowlLII! Nick #Foles wins in our book for bringing awareness to children’s hearing protection. Rock on, Lily! (…and Baby Eli enjoyed the game on the home front) #millbasinaudiologist #awareness #sporting#noiselevels #dangerousdecibels

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Hearing Loss & Family Tensions

The Love Of A Family Is Life's Greatest Blessing

Hearing loss pushes family members to get involved in seeking treatment for their loved ones– much more than they would normally for other medical conditions.

All of that frustration from loud TV’s, impossible phone calls, bungled social encounters and emotional drain takes a toll, to the point where hearing loss is affecting the entire family.

Does this sound familiar? May be time to visit the audiologist…

#healthyears #millbasinaudiologist #family #caregiving #giftofhearing

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The New Baby Has Arrived!

Baby With Hat On

Welcome to the family, Baby Eli! (Eliyahu Tzvi/Logan Harry, born beginning of January 2018 B”H) Thank you to all of the wonderful wishes from our patients and friends. Just wanted to share some sunshine on this rainy day! 

***Dr. Kupfer is currently returning all messages and accepting appointments for February.***

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