Helping a Loved One Accept their Hearing Loss
In life, we are often faced with awkward situations where we have the duty and necessity to point out uncomfortable truths to the ones we love. It is because we love them that we want what is best for them, which is why it is important to help your loved one accept that they have hearing loss so that they can get timely treatment for it.
Even though it may take a while for you to notice that your loved one has hearing loss, it may become more glaring as time goes on. They may come up with compensatory techniques to mask their hearing loss. They might pretend to smile and nod but not respond to questions.
People with hearing loss may constantly raise the volume on television to an uncomfortable level for those with regular hearing. They may even ask you to repeat what you said constantly. Lastly, if you notice a normally outgoing loved one suddenly becoming reclusive and withdrawn, they may be suffering from hearing loss.
It is important to remember that the best way to convince someone they have hearing loss is to NOT convince them! Let them come to their own understanding at their own pace. You can, however, point out your observations of their compensatory behaviors in a casual manner to bring them to their attention.
Sit with your loved one and ask them how they feel about their hearing. They may very well need someone to talk to and someone they want to share their suspicions about hearing loss with. Just be an empathic, listening ear and let them do the talking. Hearing loss is an isolating experience and it can come as a relief to finally find someone who just wants to listen and understand rather than judge them.
Do not force them to get their hearing tested or to get hearing aids. This decision needs to come from their side in their own time. Since acceptance takes a while, do not be disheartened if at first they deny their hearing loss. Just be there for them and let them know they can come to you if they need support in getting their hearing tested.
An open mind and a caring heart can help a person suffering from hearing loss come to terms with their condition. Once they are ready to get their hearing tested, make sure you support them and accompany them to the audiologist for their appointments. It may also be helpful to read up about hearing loss and how it affects a person so that you can provide them with necessary information should they be confused about whether or not to get their hearing tested.