“Wellness” is a commonly used term and rewarding choices can nurture healthier lives. With physical wellness, we think about exercise, counting steps, or trips to the gym. With mental wellness, degrees of happiness, self-esteem and power of a positive attitude are pondered. With physical and mental wellness essential, dedicated experts empower devotees to improve quality of life. From professional trainers to physical therapists or psychologists to yoga instructors, wellness pathways are intently personal.
While physical and mental wellness discussions prevail, focusing more on Communication Wellness is sensible. Especially when social media’s distractions surround us, personal connections should (ideally…) take on deeper meaning. At home, work and play we should enjoy interacting with loved ones, colleagues and friends. From phone calls to Zoom, or team meetings to nature strolls, auditory abilities bring precious sounds to life. As patients, we all need to have medical discussions with care providers. With health literacy important, how can pivotal decisions be made and guidance followed if not clearly heard and understood?
Sadly, those struggling to Communicate Well feel lonelier, a national epidemic being focused on by the U.S. Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy M.D. His groundbreaking book Together, details research-based and passionate advocacy for “The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World”.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) 2022 data reports these notable population estimates:
- 12.5% had feelings or worry, nervousness, or anxiety
- 5% had feelings of depression
- 12.6% sought counseling by a mental health professional1
These numbers suggest 10s of millions of individuals are affected.
With Social Connection imperative, Communication Wellness and thus, hearing abilities are crucial. According to systematic review of 35 studies with 147,148 participants, hearing loss is associated with 1.47 greater odds of depression in older adults. In addition to an almost 50% increase in risk, these persons are more likely to experience:
- Emotional and social loneliness
- Poor cognitive function
- Difficulty in completing daily activities
As stated, “Hearing loss may therefore worsen existing difficulties associated with psychosocial and functional abilities during older age, increasing the likelihood of developing depression”.2
With Whole-Person Care goals essential to wellbeing, we encourage your regularly scheduled visits with primary physician and medical specialists. In addition, knowing Communication Wellness enhances Social Connections, this rhyme is just in time.
Please call to schedule your next appointment, while encouraging family members and friends to benefit from communication wellness. We will be happy to see you and them soon!
2 Gerontologist, 2020, Vol. 60, No. 3, e137–e154 doi:10.1093/geront/gnz009