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Hearing loss affects over 50 million Americans. Half of all seniors over the age of 75 have at least some hearing loss, so chances are you know someone with hearing loss. If you have a loved one who isn’t hearing as clearly as they used to, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to take a hearing test.
Know the Signs of Hearing Loss
Before you can talk to your loved one about hearing loss, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the signs of hearing loss. Some of the most common signs of hearing loss include:
- Turning up the volume far too high on the TV
- Asking you to repeat yourself
- Having a hard time hearing on the phone
- Avoiding social events
- Mishearing or misremembering what you said
- Acting distant or withdrawn
- Being easily frustrated and annoyed
These are just some of the most common signs of hearing loss you may notice in your loved one.
Research Hearing Loss
You can find a lot of research about hearing loss online. Research how hearing loss affects daily life and quality of living. Hearing loss impacts physical and mental health, relationships, and even your loved one’s career. Untreated hearing loss can impact earning power and increase the risk of having an accident or fall. Living with untreated hearing loss can even increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
Before you talk to your loved one about hearing loss, do your research and make sure you have evidence to back up these facts.
Having a Conversation About Hearing Loss
If you think your loved one may have hearing loss, it’s time to have a difficult conversation with them about their hearing. Remember that the stigma around hearing loss might make your loved one reluctant to talk about their hearing. Many people think admitting they have hearing loss will make them seem old. However, hearing loss affects people of all ages, including children, teens and young adults. Age-related hearing loss can often begin as early as your 50s.
Choose the Right Time
When you’re ready to have a conversation with your loved one about hearing loss , make sure you choose the right time and place. Don’t start the conversation when you’re in a rush, and set aside enough time to have a relaxed conversation. Since your loved one has hearing loss, make sure you have the conversation in the quiet place. Avoid starting the conversation in a noisy restaurant or when you’re in a hurry. Also, make sure you turn off the TV or any background noise before you have the conversation.
Talk About Yourself
When talking to your loved one about hearing loss, remember that this is a very sensitive issue. Your loved one may feel defensive and attacked. Don’t blame your loved one for their hearing loss or make them feel bad about your frustrations. Instead share your own experiences with them. For example, tell your loved one you are sad they can’t hear you on the phone, or explain that you don’t feel as connected as you used to.
Listen to Their Experiences
Your loved one is probably also frustrated by their hearing loss. They may fear admitting to hearing loss, or they might be worried about getting hearing aids. Listen closely to their experiences and don’t interrupt them. You can also ask open ended questions to get more information about how they’re feeling.
Give Them Your Support
When encouraging your loved one to take a hearing test, give them your full support. Let them know you’re in their corner and you will support them through the whole process. One way to support your loved one is by offering to make the hearing test appointment. you can also accompany your loved one to the appointment. HearClear Hearing Center welcomes you and your loved one to every appointment.
Treating Hearing Loss
Remember that hearing loss is an isolating experience, and your loved one may feel alone. By gently encouraging your loved one to take a hearing test, you are showing them that you really care, and want what’s best for them. Don’t let communication break down, and find a way to support your loved one on their hearing health journey.