Are you worried that someone you care about may have a hearing loss? Or maybe they are finding it difficult to accept a recent diagnosis. The decline of a loved one’s hearing can be stressful for their entire family. If you are unsure how to approach the topic, we’ve put together a guide on how to help a loved one with hearing loss who is resisting help.
Our first piece of advice is to plan ahead. A sensitive topic such as this is often best discussed in private.
- Think about where they would be most comfortable.
- Plan a time when neither of you will be rushed, distracted or interrupted.
- Think from their perspective – what would help them feel less threatened?
Most importantly, get yourself into an understanding and positive mindset and try to make the setting well lit and quiet.
Listen and Understand
Good communication is vital here, this includes actively listening to how they describe scenarios, as well as how you choose to approach topics. Try to avoid talking about “their” problem, help them understand how the issue impacts everyone close to them. Come from a place of love and compassion. Rather than saying “you never leave the house anymore” try “I worry that you get lonely, and you don’t seem as happy now you don’t go out as much”.
Above all you want them to know they aren’t alone, support them by offering to attend appointments with them or to find yoga classes or support groups etc. Do speak clearly but don’t shout. Face them so they can see your mouth and use lots of eye contact and smiles.
Encourage them to take action by explaining the benefits of treating hearing loss i.e. how hearing aids can change the life of someone with a hearing loss. Perhaps discuss the research that links untreated hearing loss to higher health risks such as depression, dementia, chance of falls and more.
They also may not realize how much technology has advanced, so show them how small and clever hearing devices are now.
Finally, accept that it could take a few talks before your loved one accepts their hearing loss. Be aware if they have had enough for one day and don’t push too hard. It is a difficult time for them, many people see hearing loss as a sign that they are getting old or ‘passed it’. They may even believe they cannot enjoy their favorite activities anymore.
Alternatively they could feel that their symptoms aren’t serious enough to seek help.
By listening and understanding how they feel, giving insights into what seems to have changed and helping them see their many options. You offer unconditional love and support- which is key to overcoming their resistance and them living a more enjoyable life.
We understand how difficult it can be to accept a hearing loss or seek professional advice. This is why our caring team will talk your loved one through every step of the process at Audionics NYC. If you would like to discuss further, please call 212-755-5100 or click here to book a consultation with us today.