For some people, the decision to get a hearing test is a no brainer. After a few experiences struggling to hear, your loved one might be eager to get moving toward assistance. However, others are quite the opposite when it comes to the possibility of hearing loss.
In the most difficult cases, your loved one might deny hearing loss altogether. Others might be willing to accept the possibility of hearing loss yet remain reticent to seek treatment. What can you do to help a loved one who either denies the possibility of hearing loss or resists moving toward treatment? The following tips can help you talk with loved ones in these situations, making it possible to encourage them to get a hearing test as soon as possible.
Know the Options
Getting a sense of the treatment options before your conversation will be useful to set the stage. Though you can leave the expertise up to a hearing health professional, you should do some background research on the providers in your area and the general information about hearing loss. Knowing these basics will prepare you to answer questions for your loved one should they arise. Don’t worry about too many details, but make sure you know enough of the basics to set your loved one’s mind at ease.
Choose the Right Time and Place
When you are ready to talk with your loved one about the possibility of hearing loss, be sure to choose the right time and place to talk. You should find a quiet location with as few distractions as possible, and make sure to talk at a time that is comfortable for both of you with a little time to spare. If you try to talk during a larger social event, your loved one might feel put on the spot, so it is wise to have the conversation one-on-one if possible.
The most important thing to keep in mind about encouraging your loved one to get a hearing test is to listen to what they have to say. Lead with questions, inquiring if your loved one ever has trouble hearing or feels frustrated in conversations. With a simple question on the table, simply hear your loved one out. All you need to do is ask follow-up questions about their experiences and feelings without rushing. Only if it becomes clear that your loved one admits the possibility of hearing loss should you mention the possibility of getting a hearing test.
Pushing your loved one too hard and too fast into getting a test can actually have the opposite result, making them more hesitant. Many people feel ashamed of hearing loss, associating it with older age or a lack of independence, so it is quite common to resist prompting by a family member or loved one. If you hear your loved one out, that conversation can be the first of several to come.
If your loved one is open to the possibility of hearing loss, then you can offer your support in seeking assistance. That support might take a number of forms ranging from driving your loved one to the appointment, helping prepare a list of questions to ask, and simply going along for company. When you offer support, the decision remains with your loved one, and it is important to make sure they are in charge of the process.
With your support the path from hearing loss to treatment can be much easier, and you can help take care of the details that might be forgotten. In addition to a list of questions, you might want to brainstorm difficult hearing contexts and experiences prior to the visit. This information can help the hearing health professional recommend the right set of aids with the features that will make conversation easier.
With these tips in mind, you can encourage your loved one to seek a hearing test without hurting your relationship. For some people, these issues can be sensitive, and it is crucial to communicate openly throughout the process. Don’t be afraid to voice your love and concern, as well as your own experiences, ensuring that your loved one has no reason to feel alone.