From Whatsapp to Zoom, there are many ways to keep in contact with friends and family nowadays.
However, they each come with their drawbacks. When you send an email or text message, you must wait for a response, which could take hours or days. The feedback may not even be relevant by the time they answer. Zoom video chats might alleviate some of these concerns, but then you have to contend with dropped calls, poor network connections, and sometimes blurry, pixelated images.
When you speak with someone in person, you receive immediate feedback. By reading body language, you may also ask questions, clear up misunderstandings, and get a clearer sense of intent. You may even have lively discussions, which is difficult to achieve online.
But for successful communication, good hearing is essential. It therefore becomes a big issue if one of your loved ones starts losing their hearing.
Hearing Loss: An Overview
You may have become frustrated with a loved one, whether a spouse or a parent, who asks you to repeat what you’ve said from time to time. Consider how irritated – not to mention emotionally distraught and devastated – they must be when their hearing gradually deteriorates.
Although hearing loss is frequent (affecting 48 million Americans), it does not have to lead to a breakdown in communication with those you care about. Furthermore, once you realize that a loved one is suffering from hearing loss, you might want to help them overcome their hearing loss.
You will, however, encounter resistance. Many people don’t like to face their hearing loss and could stay in denial for years. This is understandable – hearing loss proceeds at a glacial pace and can be hard to detect unless observed outside.
Here’s some advice on how to best approach the topic with your loved one.
Do your homework
A simple internet search will yield a wealth of information on hearing loss. On its website, the Hearing Loss Association of America provides resources and information regarding hearing loss, related issues, and statistics. You’ll be able to have an informed and persuasive talk with your loved one about the necessity of getting a hearing test and seeking remedies for their hearing loss if you arm yourself with statistics and facts.
Also, look for information about emerging technologies that can help people with hearing loss. Hearing aids that are Bluetooth compatible and stream directly from smartphones are now available!
Finally, another persuasive tool is the use of testimonies from people who have benefited from hearing loss treatment and have found ways to improve their quality of life. You may even bring up stories of friends you both know who have sought hearing aids.
Find a quiet time and place
Speech recognition is a significant difficulty for those with hearing loss. Schedule a quiet time and place to talk to your loved one about hearing loss if you’ve decided to do so. It is also critical to communicate from a place of compassion. It might be challenging to communicate with persons who have hearing loss (frustrations can come from repeating yourself frequently), but remember that your objective is to persuade your loved one to take a vital step toward improving their hearing health.
Listen carefully and ask open-ended questions
Allow your loved one to speak once you’ve aired your concerns. Try not to interrupt or interject while you’re listening. Allow your loved ones to work through their feelings, even if they are upset or in denial. To learn more about their experience so far, ask open-ended questions rather than yes-or-no inquiries.
Concentrate on the advantages of treating hearing loss
The main goal is to persuade your loved ones to get their hearing checked. Hearing exams are the initial step in addressing hearing loss and provide essential information about your hearing ability (if it is detected).
Make sure you use positive language and share the evidence you’ve uncovered on the benefits of treating hearing loss. Instead of focusing on the harmful elements of hearing loss, emphasize the benefits.
For example, instead of saying, “I read that untreated hearing loss might lead to an increased risk of dementia,” you could say, “I read that treating hearing loss makes social occasions more enjoyable.”
Hearing loss is a challenging problem to deal with. Remind your loved ones, however, that they are not alone. Assuage your loved one’s fears by reassuring them that you are there for them. As a starting step, you could offer to accompany your loved one to a hearing consultation.
Remind your loved ones that addressing hearing loss is an investment in their overall health and well-being, including your relationship! Hearing loss can be treated, allowing them to reconnect with you and others in their extended family and community. We are here to assist you. To book a consultation and hearing test, call us now!