Tips For Family

How to Support a Family Member with Hearing Loss

A loved one's hearing loss may not be noticeable at first, but over time you might start to notice signs that they cannot hear as well as they once did. Since hearing loss happens gradually, a parent, spouse or another family member might not recognize their hearing ability has diminished. Often times they are reluctant to schedule a hearing test. Fortunately, there are many ways in which you can support someone during this transition and help them adjust so everyone can communicate easily and with confidence.

Point Out the Effectiveness of Hearing Aids

Highlighting the success of treatment with hearing aids is one of the best ways to convince a family member to seek help for their hearing loss. Hearing aids have an extremely high rate of success among patients in the United States, with over 95% of people receiving effective treatment using this method. In addition, hearing aids reduce frustration and anxiety, and boost emotional stability to improve overall quality of life. This improved mindset helps strengthen a person's relationships with others by allowing them to communicate better with friends and family.

Take a Hearing Test with Them

Scheduling a hearing test is a critical first step in treating your loved one's hearing loss. These screenings should be conducted once a year for everyone to make sure potential problems are caught early and treatment can begin as soon as possible. If your family member hasn't gone for a hearing test before, volunteer to go with them. Not only will they have someone to share the experience with to lessen any nervousness, but you will also be taking a positive step for your own hearing health.

Learn How to Properly Communicate

Once you have approached your family member and they agree to learn more about hearing loss treatment, keep their confidence high by engaging in effective communication strategies with them. When speaking with your family member, make sure to always face them with your mouth uncovered so the sound isn't obstructed and they can read your lips. If one ear is affected more than the other, try to speak towards their better-functioning ear. This way, your family member won't have to strain to listen. Finally, accentuate your speaking with hand gestures to help convey your message more clearly.

Be There for Your Loved One

Providing a supportive environment for your family member as they seek out treatment for hearing loss is an integral part of the transition process. If you believe that someone you know is experiencing hearing loss, use these strategies to address their concerns, and help them schedule a hearing assessment with a certified hearing professional. They will assess the condition and talk with your family member about possible solutions that will help them enjoy hobbies, socializing, and other activities more than ever.

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