Caring for someone with hearing loss

Hearing loss does not only affect the individual. Spouses, family members, friends and colleagues all benefit when people hear better. Encouraging someone to seek help may be hard, but it helps caregivers and those with hearing loss equally. Let HearingLife improve communication for your family.

If your parents have untreated hearing loss, you may notice changes in their social behavior. They may have withdrawn from social activities, or seem embarrassed. Perhaps they feel guilt or anger over their inability to follow conversations. Hearing loss can lead to depression, confusion and isolation. All these types of behavior can also have a negative effect on anyone who is near and dear.

Sometimes an individual doesn't realize how much he or she is missing, or is in denial. Especially for people with these challenges, it may take extra patience and persistence to get a loved one to accept that they need help. But if you are persistent, your guidance may be the key element in finding a solution.

If you spend a lot of time with someone who has untreated hearing loss, you may have to repeat yourself multiple times, re-explaining or speaking louder than you used to. In a way, you become the person’s ears. This may make both parties feel more frustrated.

Becoming aware of the numerous efforts you make to "translate" could be an important first step towards their treatment. Realizing the extent of the support you need to give may empower you to take action, on behalf of you both.

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Identifying a cry for help

Often, a person with hearing loss does not realize how little they hear (or is in denial). It may take a little courage, patience and persistence to convince someone to accept or address hearing loss. Today, many people equate hearing aids to eyeglasses. With new tech-savvy models, these nearly invisible, unobtrusive and stylish hearing devices are ending yesterday's negative stereotypes.

To increase your loved one's awareness of hearing loss, it can be wise to take one step at a time, while taking care to be empathetic, supportive and understanding. The more you know, the better you can help, so read all about hearing loss on our website. Then tell your loved one about the benefits of hearing care, and encourage them to just have a non-committal hearing assessment,* just to begin with. Because, if it confirms your suspicions, it will give a graphic, medical picture of your loved one’s hearing loss. With little room for denial, treatment and progress may begin.

Does your loved one have hearing loss?

Our hearing care professionals are ready to give the best help and guidance to you and your loved one.

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Or call us at: (844) 836-5003

Sometimes empathy and encouragement are not enough. If your loved one's denial is becoming stronger, it may be too much for one person to break though. So if you feel drained by trying to help on your own, why not ask the rest of the family to support you? They can help to express the impact that your loved one is having on the whole family's daily life.

Family and friends can take part in gently reminding your loved one of their hearing loss every time it is necessary to "translate" or repeat something for them. They can thus help "spread the blame" of the intervention, while helping to point out the ways in which you are being depended upon – which may be more than you realize.

There are a number of things you can do to make communicating easier for your loved one. These tips for easier listening can help while you are trying to convince your loved one to get a hearing assessment,* and also after their hearing aids have been fitted.

  • Best practices

     

  • Gain the person’s attention before speaking so they’re ready to look at you and focus on what you’re saying.

  • Speak clearly and at a natural pace — don’t shout.

  • Move closer and sit where your face is lit, so that your facial expressions are easy to read.

  • Try not to talk while chewing or smoking, or hide your mouth or chin while speaking.

  • Reduce background noise, turn down the music or TV or find somewhere quieter to talk.

  • If you are in a group, try not to interrupt each other.

  • Instead of repeating yourself, try to rephrase the sentence.

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