We understand how difficult it can be sometimes to live or work with someone who is reluctant to get help for their hearing loss.
You know expert help is available, but your suggestions are often ignored.
So, what’s the best way to encourage and help a loved one get help?
- Learn as much as you can.
- Try to be patient and compassionate.
- Become their ally and trusted support person.
- Seek out community resources.
1. Learn as Much as You Can
One of the first things you can do is understand what might be holding your loved one back from admitting hearing loss.
We all have fears about the unknown, even though some of them might not be based on facts. When you have learned the facts, you are more prepared to answer any of their objections.
Some of their fears might sound like:
“I don’t want to feel old.”
“I don’t want to wear a hearing aid. Everyone will know and I’m afraid of what they’ll think.”
“Hearing aids will be too expensive.”
“I’m doing just fine without them.”
We have posts on just about everything in our Patient Resources section. Read about the cost of hearing aids, the latest technology in hearing aids, help for ringing in the ears, what happens during a hearing assessment, and more.
If cost is the main issue, the truth is that not having your hearing treated can led to medical issues, memory loss, and deafness, which are far more emotionally damaging and costly.
And your loved one’s hearing loss might not even be due to aging and can be fixed immediately, perhaps, by removing earwax or a cyst.
2. Try to Be Patient and Compassionate
A person with a hearing loss is more likely to respond to understanding than impatience.
One of the hardest things about untreated hearing loss is the feeling of helplessness, especially if the person is used to being fully independent. Everything you do and say needs to leave them feeling empowered and understood rather than judged.
Unhelpful statements begin with: “I can’t believe you’re being so…,” “If you would just do what I…,” “Why would you not even…?”
Helpful statements begin with: “How does it feel when…,” “I can understand how…,” “How can I help…?”
Think of yourself as being solutions-focused rather than problem-focused.
If you’ve decided that it’s time for a heavy conversation because you’re too tired and frustrated with compensating for their hearing loss, wait for a time when neither one of you is feeling emotional, and use “I” statements.
“The high TV volume hurts my ears too much.” “I miss being a team in company.” “I miss enjoying our grandchildren’s conversations together.” “I’m scared your untreated hearing loss will affect your memory.” “I’d love to see you enjoy company again.”
3. Become Their Ally and Trusted Support Person
You want them to feel that they are in control of their own life, so the best thing you can do is to be there for them as their confidante.
This is not about becoming their “hearing aid” for them; it’s about listening and caring while maintaining healthy boundaries about not doing anything for them they can control themselves.
- Ask about a free consulting session with one of our audiologists so they can feel comfortable with the subject and ask any questions.
- Offer to go to the hearing assessment with them and even get your own hearing tested.
4. Seek Out Community Resources
- If you have any friends and family with a hearing loss, encourage them to share their hearing stories the next time you get together.
- Sign both of you up for the free local all-inclusive health screenings that sometimes pop up.
- Ask your primary care doctor if he/she is screening anyone over the age of 50 for hearing health as part of your yearly medical checkups. If not, ask them to start. Your loved one might be far more likely to see us if they are referred by a doctor.
- Ask us to see if your insurance covers the cost of hearing healthcare.
Gold Country Hearing & Balance Is Here to Help
We’ve helped so many people in Northern California have a better life full of the sounds they’ve missed out on for so long.
Contact us if you or a loved one is tired of living with an untreated hearing loss. We can respond to your questions or assist in scheduling a comprehensive hearing assessment, and we look forward to meeting you.