It’s not uncommon for someone with hearing loss to be in denial. In fact, hearing experts note that it takes an average of seven years for someone with hearing problems to finally seek treatment. For most adults hearing loss extends over some time. Typically friends and family will be the first to notice.
Increasing difficulties in hearing may lead to conflict between the person with hearing loss and family and friends who find themselves consistently repeating what they say and/or speaking louder. If a loved one exhibits signs of hearing loss, there are steps you can take to encourage them to seek the help they deserve.
First, don’t place blame. Gently make them aware of their symptoms, telling them how their condition affects you, advises Healthy Hearing. Do they have a problem hearing with background noise, telephone conversations, watching television? Answering these questions on their own can make them more willing to seek help.
Second, make them aware of dangers to their own safety that hearing problems can cause, such as not hearing emergency alarms and warnings. Tell them how using hearing aids can improve their daily interactions and improve relationships with friends and loved ones. Emphasize how they will be better able get back to the life they’re used to.
Third, share stories of acquaintances that have had positive experiences with hearing aids and enlist their help, if possible, in telling their stories to your loved one. In a positive way, help them understand that hearing aids can help avoid the isolation, depression and even dementia that can result from poor hearing, adds Healthy Hearing.
Finally, let them know about the vast selection of hearing aid technology available, and how it can improve their quality of life. Assure them they have love, support and help if need be. Offer to accompany your loved one to consult a hearing health professional.
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