Talking to Loved Ones

Talking to Loved Ones

Have you ever had a problem that you tried to ignore? Perhaps you wanted to deny its existence, or you just didn’t have time to deal with it at the moment. Many people experiencing hearing loss have those feelings about their hearing changes, so it becomes a sensitive subject to discuss.

Talking to loved ones about hearing loss can be a daunting task. To help you understand how to support loved ones experiencing hearing loss, we’ll cover some basic tips below. As you learn more about the best ways to approach your loved ones, you’ll be able to help them seek assessment and treatment.

1. Choose the Appropriate Setting

Although there’s never a perfect time to bring up your loved one’s hearing problems, some times and places are better than others. For example, if you’re already frustrated from having to repeat the same sentence to your loved one five times, you’re not going to appear patient and understanding if you then  ask your loved one to seek help.

Instead of calling attention to hearing loss in the moment, consider doing having that conversation at a time where you are both relaxed and can easily converse. Plan what you’re going to say, but let it be a natural and easy conversation where both of you contribute.

2. Don’t Be Patronizing

Consider your voice's tone when talking to loved ones about hearing loss. The last thing your loved ones want is for you to talk down to them. Despite what you might think, most people struggling with hearing loss are aware—if only deep down—that they have hearing problems.

Avoid patronizing statements like “You may not know this, but you can’t hear a thing we say half the time.” Instead, choose to assume that your loved one has some knowledge of his or her hearing loss so you prevent the person from feeling belittled or oblivious.

 3. Be Patient

Demonstrate sympathy for your loved one by saying that you understand if he or she has worries or concerns about seeking treatment. Acknowledge your loved one's feelings instead of dismissing them.

Ask your loved ones how hearing loss affects day-to-day life. Once they realize that several daily activities are quickly becoming difficult, they’ll be more receptive to seeking treatment.

Keep in mind that talking to loved ones about hearing loss might not yield immediate results. Provide support, and don’t forget to follow up with them. It’s not a bad idea to offer to accompany your loved one to the hearing specialist or to set up the appointment.

After talking to loved ones about hearing loss, contact a trained hearing instrument specialist at (808) 955-7366, or make an appointment online.

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