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Of the 27 million people in the United States who suffer from hearing loss, only 6 million of them have hearing aids. So, what about the other 21 million people who could benefit from hearing aids?
There are many reasons people may not be using hearing aids. Often times, they may not realize how much they could benefit from hearing aid use. Likewise, they may not realize the impact their hearing loss is having on others.
Confronting a loved one about their hearing loss can be difficult. For many people, it is a very delicate, personal topic. But when you see that a loved one missing out on the fullness of life due to hearing loss, it is natural to want to help. The first step is to have a conversation with them in a sensitive way. Here are a few tips to help guide you when talking to a loved one about their hearing loss.
Coming from a place of compassion is important when talking to a loved one about their hearing loss. Hearing loss is such a personal topic. Be sensitive to your loved one’s feelings and allow them to say what’s on their mind. Plan a calm, loving conversation.
When you’re talking to your loved one about their hearing loss, use “I” statements, instead of talking about “their” problem. Instead of saying “you can’t hear me when I talk,” try something like, “I’m concerned by how often you ask people to repeat themselves.”
Take Small Steps
Often, people see hearing loss as a sign of aging, which can lead to denial that they need a hearing aid. Chances are, your loved one won’t immediately call an audiologist after your conversation. Don’t push for immediate action from your loved one. Allow them time and space to process their emotions and grieve the loss of their hearing if necessary.
Choose the Right Place and Time
For many people, it is tempting to bring up hearing loss in the moment, sometimes out of the frustration of not being heard. This will only lead to resentment and negativity. Instead, choose a quiet, private place that is familiar to your loved one. For someone with hearing loss who may not be too keen on the idea of hearing aids, this can be a difficult conversation. Choosing the right place and time for talking to your loved one about their hearing loss is crucial.
Suggest They Try an Online Hearing Quiz
Ease your loved one into the idea of testing for hearing loss. They might not be ready to make an appointment right away, so suggest they try an online hearing quiz, like this one. Having the subjective information from a quiz might convince them to meet with an audiologist.
People who suffer from hearing loss often grieve the loss of their hearing, but this isn’t a battle they have to face alone. Go with them to audiology appointments, educate yourself, and offer your emotional support. And at every step along the way, the caring professionals at Whisper Hearing Centers are here for both you and them.