How to approach a loved one about hearing loss
If you have a loved one who is suffering from hearing loss, it can be tricky territory to navigate. Whether they are in denial, feeling self-conscious or resistant to the idea of hearing loss treatment, there is no doubt that your loved one will be experiencing a whirlwind of emotions. Therefore, it’s important that you handle the situation in a sensitive and understanding manner. Here are some tips on how to approach a loved one about their hearing loss.
Choose the right setting
Hearing loss can be a very sensitive topic for some individuals, and one that therefore requires a sensitive approach. Rather than bringing up a loved one’s hearing problem in the heat of the moment, make sure you choose an appropriate time and setting for the conversation. Discussing their hearing problem in a busy restaurant or in front of friends probably isn’t a good idea. Instead, choose a quiet and comfortable setting where you can talk privately and without disturbance. Not only will this be a favourable environment for someone with hearing loss, it will also ensure your loved one is as comfortable as possible for what can be an uncomfortable conversation.
Prior to initiating the conversation, imagine how you would feel if you were in your loved one’s position. Discovering that you have hearing loss can be a lot more complex than you expect; many view hearing loss as a sign of aging and see it as creating a barrier between themselves and their loved ones. Therefore, it’s important that you treat your loved ones with empathy.
When approaching the conversation, remember that your loved one may be scared and anxious about their hearing loss. Instead of arguing with them about the need for treatment, it’s important to listen to their concerns, let them talk and reassure them that you understand how they are feeling.
Don’t be accusatory
If your loved one is in denial or resistant to the prospect of hearing loss treatment, refrain from being accusatory and make sure you are reacting as compassionately as possible. It can be frustrating when you and a loved one aren’t on the same page, but don’t fall into the trap of talking about how much their hearing loss may annoy you. Instead, focus on the things that they may be missing out on due to their hearing loss, such as important moments with relatives.
Be positive about treatment
Getting treatment for hearing loss or going for that initial assessment can be a daunting process, but the best thing you can do for your loved one is to remain positive about the benefits of hearing loss treatment. Make sure you emphasise the positive effect treatment could have on your loved one’s life and overall health. If you can, talk about a family member or friend that has benefited from hearing aids or hearing loss treatment in the past.
And most importantly, be supportive. Whilst this conversation is no doubt difficult for you, it’s going to be more difficult for your loved one. If they are nervous or worried about seeking treatment, offer to accompany them to their appointment with the audiologist. You may even want to attend their follow-up appointment to take notes and provide emotional support where needed.
Professional support from The Art of Hearing
If you or a loved one are experiencing hearing loss and are ready to take the next step, our Perth audiologists can offer the advice and solutions you need to start your journey to better hearing. From the initial hearing assessment to your final follow-up appointment, our audiologists will be there to offer you professional support every step of the way.
Contact our experienced audiologists to organise a hearing assessment or call us on (08) 93908811 for more information.