Do you find that you are repeating yourself to a loved one more often than you once did? Does he have trouble carrying on a conversation in crowds and noisy places, or started avoiding social situations all together? These are some of the first signs of hearing loss; and unfortunately, they likely will continue to get worse over time.
When our friends or family members experience hearing loss, often they are in denial at first. They blame it on the faulty TV or mumbling grandchildren, rather than accepting that they are losing their hearing. It can be frustrating, especially for people close to them, but it’s important to be empathetic.
Hearing loss is more than just a loss of the ability to hear as you once did. For many, it feels like a loss of vitality or a harbinger of declining health. You cannot force someone out of denial, but you can address the issue and encourage them to seek help.
Here are some tips for how to make it through this sensitive, emotionally charged discussion.
Reframe the issue.
Talk about how your loved one’s hearing loss adversely affects you and the relationship you share. Let him know that it’s exhausting to have to repeat yourself so much and it causes you to talk less, or how you miss her company at social functions.
Talk away the fear.
Many times, people with hearing loss are fearful, because they don’t have all the facts. They are scared there will be no solution at all or that a hearing aid will make them seem older. Ask about what they fear and why. Let them talk it out, even if the worries seem silly or unwarranted to you.
Share positive stories.
Share stories of people who got hearing aids and improved their lives. Watch our testimonials. Read about Julie Quandt, a marathon runner and executive who suffered hearing loss early on and has used Beltone hearing aids for years. Remind your loved one of all that can be gained by getting a hearing aid. Improved hearing can alleviate depression and loneliness, and some research shows it even prevents dementia.
Get educated about the options.
Hearing aid technology has come so far and is getting better all the time. There are now models that are nearly invisible hidden in the inner ear canal. There are features that eliminate the feedback that people with hearing aids once had to suffer. All Beltone hearing aids connect to an app that allows users to easily make adjustments depending on the environment, and to stream music, phone calls, and directions directly into their ears! Check out the various Beltone hearing aid models available.
Get more information.
The first step is to schedule an appointment for a free hearing test with an audiologist at a Beltone location near you. If your friend or family member needs a little convincing, have them take our online hearing test first. A professional will be able to assess their level of hearing loss and make recommendations about treatment options. Once of our Beltone audiologists is known to say, “Give me an hour, and I can change your life!”