Do you have a sneaking suspicion that your loved one does not hear as well as they once did? Perhaps it’s your mother who isn’t able to hear her grandchildren speak, or your husband might ask you to repeat four times until he understands you.
It is difficult to see a loved one’s hearing abilities decline, and difficulties with listening and communication can often create rifts in otherwise healthy relationships. It can be a struggle to address the reality of hearing loss. Here are a couple of tips to help you talk about hearing loss with your loved one, intending to help them seek care and improve their hearing.
Know the signs of hearing loss
To be entirely sure that your loved one does have hearing loss, learn about the typical symptoms before you confront them. Common symptoms include:
- Asking people to repeat themselves many times and still losing the conversation flow is one of the most common hearing loss symptoms.
- People with hearing loss can be so busy trying to understand that they sometimes get it wrong. They may respond to something inappropriately as a result. In big groups, where background noise or multiple conversations occurring at once are disruptive, this is even more apparent.
- Those with hearing loss will also suspect someone of mumbling or talking too quietly.
- While watching TV or listening to the car radio, does your loved one turn up the volume way too loud? This is another common symptom of hearing loss.
How to approach the issue of hearing loss
- Choose the right environment. Pick a quiet and private place to first talk to your loved one. With hearing loss, speech comprehension is challenging, and you want to make sure that you are in an atmosphere where you can easily connect with your loved one.
- Understand how sensitive this issue is. The words you use to talk about their hearing loss can have a huge influence. Your loved one is probably going to be defensive, attempting to stop the discussion. Your loved one may not want to accept they need support because of cultural taboos surrounding hearing loss and aging.
- Be patient. Maybe your loved one is afraid to talk about it. Hearing loss may be incremental, so they may not even know how poor their hearing has gotten or how many things they lack. Your loved one may feel like they’re being attacked, but be calm and patient with them.
- Talk about it from your own experience. Do use “I” statements when talking to your loved one about hearing loss. Instead of saying, “You never hear me calling,” Say, “I noticed you didn’t hear me calling from the other room.” “I” statements take the pressure off and don’t sound accusatory. By sharing your experience with them, you reveal how you are personally affected and show them that you are not blaming them for anything.
- Focus on the benefits of hearing loss treatment. With treatment, they can chat on the phone easily and follow their grandchild’s story with ease. They will enjoy going out again, and because they can follow and clearly hear the conversation, they will feel connected and in the loop again.
- Enlist the help of others who have already treated their hearing loss. Do you have any family members or friends who are currently treating hearing loss with the use of hearing aids? For them, what has changed with treatment? Recounting tales about how people have treated their hearing loss is a brilliant motivator for your loved one. Get your loved one to speak to those people. This will help them see that hearing aids are ubiquitous.
Hearing aid technology has improved immensely
Hearing aids are prescribed as the most common treatment for hearing loss. If your loved one feels like hearing aids are ancient, clunky, whistling, and buzzing – we’ve got great news!
Both in engineering and design, hearing aids have come a long way in the last two years. They are sleek and advanced devices that help their users live healthy and fulfilling lives. Hearing aids have innovative features, from noise cancellation to artificial intelligence, packaged in a compact case that can suit any skin or hair color.
Finally, encourage them to take a hearing test
This is the first step in maintaining one’s hearing health. A hearing test reveals important information about their hearing abilities. If a hearing loss is found, we will help your loved one find the right hearing aids for their needs.
Early care makes it easier for your loved one to adapt to wearing hearing aids, preserves the hearing they have left, keeps them active, and slows down the progression of dementia. Don’t delay! Speak to your loved one, then arrange an appointment with us. We’re here to help!