Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing TestNovember 20, 2020
All our relationships are built on a foundation of great communication. If your loved one has a hearing loss, you may experience a disruption in your communication and have frustrations on both sides. The sad part is that we often don’t realize at first that hearing loss is to blame. You might think your partner is ignoring you on purpose, or that they’ve become very absent-minded.
Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss
Before you can talk about hearing loss with your loved one, you first need to recognize the signs of hearing loss. Some of the common signs of hearing loss include:
- Mishearing what’s been said
- Asking everyone to repeat themselves
- Failing to hear the beeping from the stove or microwave
- Sleeping through the alarm
- Turning up the volume on the TV to an uncomfortable volume
These are just some of the signs of a hearing loss. If you’ve noticed any of these signs from your loved one, they most likely have hearing loss. Around 3 million Canadians have hearing loss, so it’s a lot more common than you might think.
Learn More About Hearing Loss
Before you bring it up with your loved one, take some time to learn more about hearing loss. A quick internet search will show you how hearing loss is linked to anxiety, depression, and overall mood. Studies show clear links between untreated hearing loss, cognitive decline, and an increased risk of dementia. Over the past few years, researchers have discovered that people with hearing loss have a lower earning potential, and they’re also more likely to suffer an accident or injury. Hearing loss has a number of negative physical, mental, and emotional consequences that will affect your loved one, and you.
Talk to Your Loved One About Hearing Loss
Now that you know the signs of hearing loss, and you’ve spent some time learning more about hearing loss, you’re prepared to talk to your loved one about their hearing.
Choose a quiet spot to talk, and avoid bringing up the conversation if you’re in a place with lots of background noise. Hearing loss makes it harder for your loved one to hear you, so make sure you have the conversation in the quiet of your home, away from other distractions. While you’re having the conversation, turn off any distracting background noise, and face your loved one so they can clearly see your face.
Don’t Blame Your Loved One
When you’ve had this conversation about hearing loss, make sure you talk about your own experiences. Use lots of “I” statements, for example “I feel sad when we can’t talk like we used to.” Avoid taking out your frustrations on your loved one, and don’t blame them for the way you feel. For example, avoid saying things like “you never hear during conversations” or “you always do that.”
Listen to Your Loved One
After sharing your own experiences, ask your loved one to share how they’ve been feeling. Most likely they know their hearing has changed, and they’re struggling to come to terms with their hearing loss. It can be hard to adjust to new hearing abilities, or face the fact that they can’t hear as well as they used to. Ask questions, and take the time to hear their concerns. Listening lets them know you care about them.
Encourage Your Loved One to Take a Hearing Test
You and your loved one may have been feeling isolated and alone, but hopefully having a conversation about hearing loss will bring you closer together. Encourage your loved one to take a hearing test, and let them know all the benefits of treating their hearing loss. They’ll be able to hear during conversations, enjoy all the sounds they’ve been missing, and reconnect with loved ones.
Encourage your loved one to make an appointment for a hearing test, and offer to go with them to the appointment. Our team welcomes both your and your loved one to our office. Two heads are better than one, and you’ll be able to help your loved one remember all the new information about their hearing, and help them find the perfect hearing aids that match their hearing needs and lifestyle.