If you notice a family member isn't participating in conversations or turns up the volume higher on the TV or radio, these could be signs of hearing loss. While your loved one might not be ready to talk about their symptoms, you can use these strategies to help them understand their hearing loss and encourage them to get the treatment they deserve. Follow these three easy steps to address some of the concerns they're having and help them improve their hearing and enjoy life to the fullest.
Your family member's idea of hearing aids may be based on older models or common misconceptions people have about them. However, numerous advancements in hearing aid technology offer not just clearer hearing, but also helpful features, such as:
Hearing loss involves an emotional response. Speak with your family member about their ability to interact and communicate, and reassure them that you want to include them in every conversation. Similarly, listen to their concerns and worries, and let them know you want to understand and will help however you can. A parent, partner, or another loved one may be more willing to seek treatment when you express how important they are to the family and how much you value communicating with them.
Learning about effective communication strategies for people with hearing loss can be a great way to alleviate your loved one’s concerns. When speaking with your family member, stand close to them with your mouth uncovered so they can clearly hear what you are saying. Talk in a deliberate manner that is easier to understand while emphasizing points with hand gestures. Write down any important information, like dates and times of appointments, or have them repeat what you said to make sure they heard you correctly.
Following these steps will help your loved one maintain confidence as they recognize their hearing loss and seek ways to improve their condition. When your family member is ready to take the next steps, schedule an appointment for a hearing consultation. From there, the hearing professional can provide hearing aids or other treatment options and offer advice on adjusting to this lifestyle change.