Hearing loss can be a sensitive subject, especially if your loved one does not wish to address it. But it’s a meaningful conversation that will benefit everyone in the long run. Here are some ideas for starting up “the talk” about hearing loss.
Offer Your Support
It’s easier to discuss with someone when you know they’re not going to argue, point fingers, or get angry. Meet in a quiet space – since trouble hearing in noisy environments is an early indicator of hearing loss – and let your loved one know you want to help. Be sensitive to their possible negative reactions to the idea of hearing aids, and try to be supportive of their feelings
Tell Them What You’ve Noticed
The early signs of hearing loss may have escaped your loved one’s attention. You might see and hear things they don’t notice. Make a note of their listening habits and politely bring these things to their attention.
Does your family member:
- Turn the TV or stereo up to an excessive volume?
- Regularly ask others to speak up or repeat themselves?
- Miss the phone ringing or a knock at the door?
- Have misunderstandings or miscommunications with others?
- Avoid social situations for fear of missing conversations?
Research the types and degrees of hearing loss together. It’s easier to take in new information when you work as a team and will help put their mind at rest that hearing loss is quite common.
Offer to accompany them to their hearing evaluation. You can inform the audiologist about hearing habits your loved one doesn’t notice. It’s always good to have another person to catch crucial information and ask questions. Having your hearing tested as well may help put a family member at ease.
Hearing Aids And Listening Devices
It will take time to get accustomed to the auditory stimuli and physical sensations of wearing hearing aids. Discuss the best option for your loved one’s hearing loss with their audiologist. There are also assistive listening devices that can be used to amplify sounds at home and in other locations.