Helping a Loved One Suffering From Hearing Loss
Acknowledging hearing loss can be tough for everyone involved. Despite the causes of hearing loss, it is undoubtedly something that can be difficult to accept because it often accompanies aging, which many people try to ignore. If you know someone suffering from hearing loss, you may wonder what is the best way to support them, especially while they may be in denial? Fortunately, there are many compassionate ways to do this.
One of the best things to do is educate yourself about what someone with hearing loss may be feeling. Keep in mind what you’ve learned when you have conversations with them. Skills like rephrasing what you said instead of just repeating the same thing louder, or making sure you are facing the person when speaking in case they are lip reading, can go a long way to helping the transition.
Imagine going to a doctor about something you don’t want to admit. Now, imagine you have trouble hearing what questions the doctor is asking, or missing the explanation of your diagnosis. Attending appointments with your loved one not only provides much-needed emotional support, but also it is a practical exercise because you can assist by hearing and later explaining what the patient may have missed. Having someone else present during office visits can reduce the stress associated with these situations.
Unless you’ve gone through being diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s hard to say how you would react. However, by doing some research online, you can gain an understanding of what others have said about it. Armed with that knowledge, you can support your loved one by encouraging them to get a hearing test. Make sure this conversation doesn’t turn into an argument, otherwise you risk further alienating the person. When they are ready for a candid conversation, be a good listener. While you may have many ideas about what the person should do, ultimately, it is their decision, and it’s best to let them express their thoughts and concerns in their own time.
It may take a while, but hopefully, your loved one will accept that a hearing test can only improve life, even if it does mean they need hearing aids. When that time comes, we are here to offer expertise to guide you through the process any way we can.