Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing Test
Communication is central to building relationships. From the moment we are born, the genesis of communication emerges as our parents talk to us, teaching us sounds and words. As we grow up, we express ideas and beliefs, building friendships, partnerships, and professional relationships. We are social creatures and communication is at the heart of it.
When someone loses the ability to hear, it immensely impacts their quality of life. For those with loved ones facing untreated hearing loss, the inability to communicate normally not only leads to conflicts and frustrations in relationships, but also other health problems.
If you feel that a loved one may be dealing with hearing loss, it is important for them to seek treatment from a hearing health specialist. The tips below will provide you methods on how to approach helping a loved one take care of their hearing health.
As hearing loss is often considered “invisible” –the challenge in identifying the problem—we may lack the knowledge and understanding on how to assist our loved ones facing hearing loss. Luckily for us, there is a wealth of resources online, ranging from The American Speech Language Hearing Association to the Hearing Loss Association of America. You can learn about of the signs of hearing loss, its causes, and other associated medical conditions. Research will help inform and persuade your loved one on the prevalence of hearing loss and the importance of treating it.
Finding the Right Time & Place to Discuss
When you’re finally ready to bring up the conversation with your loved one, it’s important to figure out the right time and place to do so. Because those with hearing loss have difficulty with communication, choosing a quiet space to bring up your concerns is recommended. One should avoid going to loud, public places. Equally important is choosing the right time. Avoid bringing up the conversation when your loved one is not in the right head space. Lastly, as this topic may be sensitive, you may want to have a one-on-one conversation so that there is privacy and your loved one doesn’t feel they have to be on the defensive.
Share Your Concerns from Your Perspective
Sharing your concerns about a loved one’s hearing from your perspective or experience will often mitigate any type of conflict. People often feel targeted and will be defensive when language such as “You never…” is used. Rather than pointing out the other person’s drawbacks, try to shift the topic to how you may feel or experience the situation. Instead of saying, “You never listen to me” or “You always ignore me”, try saying “I wish we could communicate easier”. It’s also important to point out specific examples to your loved one.
Listen to What They Have to Say
As much as it is important that you share your view of the situation, it is equally important to listen to your loved one’s perspective. Although hearing loss often goes unrecognized, chances are that your loved one realizes some of the changes in their hearing abilities but feel stigmatized by the reality of hearing loss. There may also be feelings of fear, doubt, shame, insecurity or anger when someone loses an ability they once had.
Opening up a safe space for your loved one to voice their feelings and experiences will ease the way towards eventually seeking out a hearing health professional.
Encourage Your Loved One to Take a Hearing Test
After you’ve taken all these steps in addressing hearing loss with your loved one, and you feel that the time is right, encourage them to take a hearing test. Audiologists suggest getting a hearing test at least once a year for those over the age of 50. Hearing health is linked to overall health, and by seeking treatment for hearing loss, you’ll lower your chances of other health issues like social isolation, depression, and even dementia.
Schedule a Hearing Test with Us at Hearing Improvement Center
Studies have shown that it takes people roughly seven years from the time they recognize hearing loss symptoms before they seek treatment. The sooner your loved one gets their hearing tested, the faster they are on their way to living a more stress-free, healthy lifestyle. Treating hearing loss allows your loved one to reconnect with you and your community, so schedule a hearing test today with Hearing Improvement Center.