When a loved one’s hearing begins to decline, it can be challenging to know how to bring it up. Certainly, you do not want to offend or put the individual with hearing loss on the defensive. However, when it comes to hearing health, tackling issues early can maximize outcomes.
If you have noticed a marked decline in a family member’s hearing ability, it’s best to address about it sooner than later. Here are some tips to help you discuss hearing loss with a loved one.
Understand that hearing loss is more common than you may think
Hearing loss is often errantly seen as a sign of aging and declining general health. However, this is frequently not the case. Hearing loss can happen to anyone, at any age, or in any health condition.
Choose the right time and place to talk
Choosing the right time and place for a discussion about hearing loss is crucial. Personal health issues are private and sometimes challenging to discuss. It is best to bring up a loved one’s hearing loss in a place where the person feels relaxed. Although hearing loss can affect the entire family, the ideal first conversation should be one on one. Choose a time when both you and the individual with hearing loss are not busy, tired or too emotional.
Get your loved one to bring up the issue
After deciding when and where you will speak to your loved one about hearing loss, consider how you think he or she will react. Some people may be reluctant to take advice from others, especially if the person giving the advice is one’s own child. A usually independent person may not positively respond to observations about hearing issues. If you believe this is the case, try letting your loved one self-identify the problem.
One method of broaching the subject of hearing loss is by simply mentioning to that you have noticed that this person has recently avoided conversations or speaking on the phone. You can then ask if anything is wrong. Often, your loved one will mention that it has been harder to hear clearly.
Be patient during the conversation
Try not to become frustrated with your loved one, even if he or she denies having hearing loss. Do not criticize your loved one, make threats or give ultimatums. Avoid listing all the times you have noticed problems related to his or her hearing loss. This will quickly end the conversation and both of you will walk away angry.
Know that many people with hearing loss realize their hearing ability has changed, but they are simply scared to admit it. With a patient and caring approach to this difficult conversation topic, most people will eventually acknowledge that they do have concerns about their hearing.
Let your loved one know you are there for support
Because the idea of experiencing hearing loss can be daunting, it is important for you to give any support your loved one needs. Tell your loved one you are willing to do whatever it takes to help. Many times people assume someone will ask for help; this is not always true.
Show your desire to help by offering to take the individual to have a hearing test. Suggesting the entire family have a hearing test at the same time is also a great option that can make someone feel less anxious. Another smart tactic is to offer research or information about hearing loss and the many innovative solutions, such as Esteem Hearing Implants.
While talking about hearing loss can be challenging, it is necessary. Remember that you have the best intentions at heart for your loved one and your family.
When is it time to talk to your loved one about their hearing loss?
- Does he ask you to repeat yourself often?
- Does she listen to the television or radio at a noticeably high volume level?
- Does he avoid social or loud settings like restaurants or parties?
- Does she have difficulty talking on the phone?
- Does he often misinterpret what you or others say?