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Elderly couple conversing about hearing loss

Conversations Around Hearing Loss

Having a family member or friend struggle with hearing loss is hard. It can be even more difficult to encourage them to seek professional help if their hearing loss is something they have become used to. But miscommunication, repeating information, and struggling with everyday conversations should not be the norm for anyone.

Starting the conversation

When opening a conversation such as this, it is important to understand that your loved one will likely be defensive. We hear with our brains. Because of this, their hearing loss might not be as noticeable to them. Their brain has forgotten certain sounds like rain on the roof, a cat’s meow, or the doorbell ringing. Because they may not even realize they have forgotten these sounds, having someone address them is likely to make them upset. To help guide this conversation follow the tips below.
• Make sure the timing is right. If they have a lot going on at home or at work, now may not be the best time to start this conversation.
• Approach them with love, empathy, and compassion. These emotions could help the person you are talking to be more open to what you are telling them.
• Do your research. This is important because it allows you to take some of the emotion out of the conversation. What does a hearing evaluation look like? How much do hearing aids typically cost? What could happen if their hearing loss goes untreated? What do hearing aids look like physically? These are just some of the questions your loved one might ask and having the answers prepared for them shows that you want to help and don’t expect them to do all the work themselves.

Ways to encourage them

One of the best ways to encourage someone to come in for a hearing assessment is to express how their hearing loss has affected the people around them. They may not understand how hearing loss has affected them, so hearing how it has had an impact on others may encourage them to come in for a hearing assessment. By highlighting the benefits they could have from better hearing, they will see what they are currently missing out on.

If your loved one is refusing to believe that they have hearing loss, another way to encourage them to come in is by having them take an Online Hearing Assessment. The idea can even be pitched as a way to get you to stop bringing it up. If they pass the assessment, then you won’t talk to them about their hearing loss anymore. But if they don’t pass, then they must come in for a hearing assessment.

Finally, make sure they know that they are not alone. Offer to help them make the appointment and go with them. This process can be nerve-wracking for most people and having someone with them the entire time will help calm their nerves. You could even offer to get a hearing assessment yourself. This shows your loved one that you believe the process is safe and you are willing to go through it with them to make sure they get the help that they need.

Final thoughts

Not everyone will end up coming in for a hearing assessment the first few times the topic gets brought up. Remember, you are doing the hardest part of the process. Getting someone to come in for a hearing assessment can take 6-7 years on average. Be patient with your loved one and try to see the conversations taking place from their point of view. Just because they are not taking action to fix their hearing loss right away does not mean that they don’t care. They may need some time to process and think about things.

Everyone deserves to have the best hearing they can have, but sometimes they need a little push. This post has mentioned a lot of different ways to help guide that initial conversation. The biggest thing to remember is to just be there for your loved ones and remind them that you care about them. If you do that, then the rest of the conversation will flow smoothly.