It’s never easy to talk about health problems, particularly in relatives who are getting older. But how should you approach a loved one who is showing signs of hearing loss that could eventually cause serious injuries?
Ten Common Signs of Hearing Loss
Does your loved one:
- Have problems hearing the doorbell or phone ring?
- Miss what people say if her back is turned?
- Listen to the TV or radio at maximum volume?
- Say “what?” “excuse me,” or ask people to talk more slowly several times in a conversation?
- Misunderstand directions (or make similar mistakes) and blame others?
- Lean toward a person who is speaking?
- “Forget” something you said?
- Fail to act on spoken directions?
- Refuse to go into “loud” public places?
- Insist that all plans be made in writing?
If these symptoms sound familiar, you should know that progressive hearing loss can eventually result in behavioral changes and psychological consequences. People with hearing loss often feel ashamed and isolated, and may withdraw from social situations due to a lack of self-confidence.
How to Talk About Hearing Loss With a Loved One
If you suspect a hearing problem, you should remember that your goal is to be supportive and helpful. Rather than tell your loved one that he or she has hearing loss, let your relative know that you are concerned that he or she is missing out on things, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Avoid any accusations or threats, and be positive. He or she may not be aware of the problem, or may be sensitive to the thought of being “injured” or “old.”
A family member may respond better to the suggestion of taking a hearing test, rather than the idea of a hearing aid. If your loved one shows no signs of hearing loss in an audiogram, you will both have peace of mind—and if hearing loss is present, your hearing care providers can help your loved one see the difference a hearing device can make.
The more you know, the better you can help your loved one overcome hearing loss for good. Order our free Information Pack today for ideas on how to start the hearing loss conversation, or call us at (866) 517-4415 to schedule a hearing test.