When a loved one suffers from hearing loss, it affects every single member of the family, not just the person themselves who are suffering from it. Communication becomes a problem and frustrations often can begin to creep in for everyone involved. Family members may feel that the person with hearing loss is in denial, or just ignoring the impact of the hearing loss.
If the person with hearing loss has withdrawn from their social circle, family members may be concerned about their well-being. There is an element of denial involved in many cases. However, denial is fed by a misunderstanding of how hearing loss works.
It goes without saying that when an individual suffers from a hearing loss it is extremely difficult for them. However, we sometimes forget about how hard it is on their loved ones too. In this blog, we have some tips and advice on ways to deal with your loved one suffering from a hearing loss in order to help you both.
Tip 1 – Be patient and Supportive of your loved one
Unfortunately, it takes on average seven years from the time an individual discovers they have a hearing loss until they slowly learn to accept that they need hearing aids, and actually go about getting them. There is no doubt this is a long and winding road, but it’s so important to know that the earlier you treat your hearing loss the less damage it will cause.
Of course, admitting to themselves that they have a hearing loss is a big deal and far from easy. But it’s even more difficult for them to admit it to their loved ones! As a result, it is so important to be patient with them and as supportive and understanding as you possibly can be. Even something as simple as a hug to show them how much you care can really make a difference.
There are lots of ways you can support your loved one suffering from hearing loss. We would always recommend that you go with your loved one when going to an audiologist appointment to help ask questions and help them choose the best hearing aid for them, but most of all for support! Why not also explore new ways to communicate as well as some assistive hearing technology devices that are out there? It might even be fun to set them up together and will show them how supportive you are.
Tip 2 – Discover what hearing loss is like
Our next bit of advice is to put yourself in the shoes of your loved one suffering from a hearing loss. We can all imagine what it would be like to have hearing loss, but you never really know for sure. There is now a way you can really discover what hearing loss is like through online hearing simulators. You’ll never be able to experience exactly what they can and cannot hear, but these online simulators let you experience how a voice sounds and gain a better understanding of what it’s like for your loved one.
Tip 3 – Don’t get frustrated
It can be challenging when having a conversation with a loved one with hearing loss. Having to constantly repeat yourself, you sometimes can be tempted to shout instead of just repeating yourself. Our advice to you is try your best not to get frustrated, they are not intentionally trying not to understand what you are saying. Just be patient, don’t get frustrated and repeat what you are saying again. Sometimes when they can’t hear what you are saying it’s because they are unable to hear certain frequencies. Every hearing loss is unique! But raising your voice isn’t going to help them, it will just appear as you being aggressive and frustrated. We advise to perhaps rephrase what you are saying and try to speak more clearly.
Tip 4 – Insist on Hearing Aids
If your loved one suffering from hearing loss has not gotten hearing aids yet or not gotten their hearing tested there are a few things you can do to gently persuade them. A good place to start is with out free online hearing test on or why not even book in for a free adult hearing screening at your nearest clinic. We would recommend going with your loved one to attend these appointments.
Some people have the problem that their loved one has hearing aids but doesn’t always wear them. Again, if you gently persuade them to wear them it will save a lot of frustration on both sides. If they are self-conscious about hearing aids, they might be suitable for the lyric, the worlds only 24/7 invisible hearing aid which can be fitted by Audiology Medical Services.
Just remember, gently persuasion does not mean shouting at them or getting angry. Try explaining to them the benefits it will have for them and their loved ones.
Tip 5 – Get Professional Help
If things get to the point where communication with your loved one suffering from a hearing loss and your family is becoming extremely difficult, we would advise getting help from a hearing care professional. There is a couple of benefits in doing this including learning new strategies to communicating among others. It’s also sometimes easier to get advice from someone outside the family on emotional and delicate topics such as this.
How we can help
If you are concerned about a loved one with hearing loss, we are here to help you through this challenging process. To make an appointment to talk to one of Audiology Medical Services’ clinically trained professional audiologists, available at clinics nationwide, freephone 1800 501 501.