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How to Deal with a Family Member with Hearing Loss?
Hearing loss isn’t healthy, but it isn’t irreparable either. Whether your loved one sees an audiologist about their ear health or learns to live with the condition, they can still live their best life.
Of course, it’s vital for you to help them transform their lifestyle, too. While the impact is biggest for your loved one or family member, it also impacts your day to day routine. So, finding a solution is in everyone’s best interests.
If you aren’t sure how to broach the subject or talk about hearing loss with a family member, here is a selection of tips that will come in handy.
Highlight hearing loss
Often, people don’t visit an audiologist because they don’t think anything is wrong. The brain is a weird and wonderful thing, but mix it with a person’s ego, and it can lead to a sense of denial. Therefore, your first job is to make them understand the extent of the issue without being rude or blunt.
Gently highlighting that you must repeat yourself, for instance, may make them more aware. Of course, the best tactic is to sit down and have a conversation. Inform them that you believe they are dealing with hearing loss and tell your loved one about your concerns.
This could be the push they need to visit an audiologist and receive the assistance they require.
Attend the hearing loss evaluation
Scheduling an appointment with an audiologist is the first step. However, it doesn’t mean that your role is over. For starters, your family member’s hearing loss could be at a level where they can’t take in the information effectively. In this scenario, they will need someone to listen and relay the audiologist’s words and ask questions on their behalf.
Visiting a hearing specialist should put their fears at ease. Sometimes, the screening may show that there is nothing to worry about because a buildup of earwax is causing the problem. Alternatively, an audiologist could provide hearing assistance devices to negate the impact of hearing loss and enhance your loved one’s lifestyle.
By attending the evaluation, you can allay any apprehension.
Learn the dos and don’ts of communicating
Until a repair is available, you must learn how to communicate appropriately so that your family member doesn’t feel ashamed or isolated about their condition. One of the main things to realize is that talking more loudly isn’t a useful tactic. Shouting may only lead to further inner ear damage, while the person still won’t be able to hear you properly.
Tools that work are:
• Speak clearly and concisely: It’s not the loudness that is helpful, but the speed and clarity of your sentences.
• Face the person: Turning to them while you speak will allow them to read your lips.
• Get their attention: Hearing loss means that they need to concentrate harder to listen effectively. Anyone who isn’t focused will miss what you are saying.
• Rephrase: Rephrasing the sentence is a fantastic tip as certain words are harder to hear due to pitch and tone.
• Change rooms: If there is too much background noise in a room, you can move to a quieter one with fewer distractions.
When your communication isn’t affected as much, your relationship won’t be as strained.
Empathize with their condition
It can be hard to live with a person who experiences hearing loss. Of course, the problem is twice as challenging for your family member because it’s their life. It’s essential to empathize with the condition and to walk a mile in their shoes.
Firstly, understanding the level of their hearing loss and how it impacts their life will make you more accommodating. Then, when they don’t respond right away, you will find it easier to bite your tongue and not get mad. Secondly, empathy should increase your knowledge of the subject and help them to find a suitable treatment.
Symptoms of hearing loss include sadness, loneliness and frustration, conditions that you should never underestimate.
Remind them they have nothing to lose
Regardless of the options on the table, your family member may deal with the fear that prevents them from deciding. A brilliant technique is to offer perspective in this situation. Reminding a loved one that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain should give them the strength and courage to try something new.
After all, whatever happens, they know that you will be there to guide them through the process.
Do you have a family member who is experiencing hearing loss? With the help of our skilled and experienced audiologists, we can make their life better. Call at 920-969-1768 now to learn more.