Some people are ready and eager to admit to the reality of hearing loss. When they notice that it has become difficult to have conversations or to communicate at social events, they will be excited to get the help they need. These individuals will be likely to schedule a hearing test right away and to follow-up with getting aids and putting them into action. Although many people have this approach to hearing loss, others are not so eager. These others might resist the possibility that hearing loss is even an issue. In the deepest sense, these people can deny to themselves that hearing loss has become a reality. Others will deny to their family, friends, and loved ones that they have any problems with hearing, hoping to save face. The sad reality is that hearing loss tends to be evident to others, so these efforts at hiding it are ineffective. Still others are willing to admit that hearing has become difficult, but they simply refuse to get treatment. If you have noticed that your loved one is demonstrating some signs of hearing loss, the best thing you can do to help is to have a conversation about the possibility. Without offering your layman’s diagnosis, all you need to do is ask questions about that person’s experience with hearing and to suggest a hearing test. How you have this conversation, however, makes a big difference in your loved one’s receptivity. Let’s take a look at what you can do to have a good conversation about hearing loss. These basic principles will make it more likely for your loved one to become open to the possibility and to receive help when the time is right.
When and Where
What you say in this conversation is just as important as when and where it occurs. You might feel the impulse to talk about hearing loss when it seems to be a problem, such as at a noisy restaurant for dinner or at a family party with lots of people talking at once. Although the topic of hearing loss might seem to be on the table, these frustrating experiences can be a worst-case scenario for the conversation. Indeed, talking about hearing loss should occur in a quiet and calm location where you have the best chance of getting through. Choose a time that is convenient and when there aren’t too many other distractions.
Becoming a Listener
In some of our relationships with loved ones, we can take on the role of leading the way. In this conversation, however, you need to take a support role and simply listen. Begin by asking if there have been any situations that made hearing difficult. You can ask about a specific instance or simply keep the conversation open. When you ask about experiences with hearing, all you need to do is to listen. Take what your loved one says and digest it fully. If they admit that there have been situations making hearing difficult, you can step in with the possibility of a hearing test. By simply suggesting a hearing test, your loved one might react negatively, and that is okay. This conversation is just one step in the direction of eventual treatment, and you can leave your suggestion right there.
Supporting the Treatment Process
If your loved one is open to getting a hearing test, you can assist in the scheduling and transportation process. It can be helpful to go along to the appointment. Not only can you offer moral support, but you can also be there to provide additional information to our team and to help your loved one remember important questions to ask. With your support, your loved one will be the best possible to get treatment for hearing loss. You can be there offering support throughout the process, and your relationship will only become stronger as a result. Why not start with having a conversation about hearing loss in the next few days? Putting off that conversation will only allow hearing loss to become more of an issue as time goes by. Your support will be a great way to bond with your loved one, and your future communication will greatly benefit.
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