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Help a Loved One Hear You

Too often, people with untreated hearing loss are not aware of the full impact this condition has on their lives. A study by the National Council on the Aging discovered that “people with hearing loss are more likely to report symptoms of depression, dissatisfaction with life, reduced functional health, and withdrawal from social activities.”

Your role as a concerned Caregiver or friend of someone with hearing loss can be pivotal. In fact, half of new first-time owners of hearing aids indicate that family members were a key factor influencing their purchase of a hearing aid.

The challenge of getting your loved one to fully reconnect with the life they once had begins with what is often the most difficult step – getting them to admit that they have hearing loss, and that it must be corrected.

From Denial to Recognition
One thing you don’t want to do might be your first impulse – to act as “their ears." Don’t repeat yourself, raise your voice, or act as a messenger. This will only allow them to either stay in denial or to simply continue living their lives with poor hearing. You’re only enabling them to go without the help they really need.

It’s also very important to get as much of your family and/or friends involved. A group effort in convincing a loved one to resolve their hearing issue is a “strength in numbers” approach that will give your point more impact and urgency.

Both of these approaches will help them understand that their hearing loss is negatively affecting more than just themselves, and that a solution must be considered.

Be Prepared
Let’s say that you and your family have gotten your loved one to admit that they have a hearing impairment. Now what? There’s still a good possibility that you’ll get pushback when you begin talking about hearing aids. They may have many preconceived notions or might simply not like the idea of wearing a device.

But today’s hearing aids speak for themselves. They’ve gone from obvious to discreet, from awkward to stylish, and from being simple amplifiers to sophisticated devices that seamlessly reconnect users to a life they once knew.

Being prepared with proven facts that debunk age-old myths and having knowledge of the many types and styles of hearing aids today and the technology available will go a long way in easing any anxiety.

Suggested Further Reading
Help Loved Ones Deal with Hearing Loss—the Right Way
The Better Hearing Institute
Summary: BHI presents a study focused on the painful challenge of how to help a loved one with their hearing loss who isn't willing to help themselves.

Talking to a Person who is Hard of Hearing
Dr. Mark Ross, Ph.D.
Summary: Helping a loved one prevail over their hearing loss all begins with proper communication. Article includes important points like how to get and maintain your loved one’s attention and address their concerns in a sensitive manner.

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