Have you noticed a loved one constantly asking for others to repeat themselves or leaning in as if they’re straining to hear the conversation? If so, it’s time to speak to them about the possibility of hearing loss. It may be a scary or awkward conversation to have but it is very important to do it sooner than later because hearing loss can be linked to more serious health conditions like heart disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression.
Before initiating the conversation about hearing loss, be sure to choose an intimate and comfortable setting with no distractions. Speak to your loved one with patience and compassion – they may be in denial or somewhat defensive. Your task is to put them at ease, yet help them understand the seriousness of their possible hearing loss.
You should start the conversation by explaining why you are concerned using “I” statements like, “I notice you lean in during our conversations and I’m a little concerned,” to avoid making the conversation seem confrontational. It also helps to use “I” statements so your loved one really understands that you are also affected by their hearing loss. Let them know how it’s affecting their communication and social skills.
Be sure to keep the tone of the conversation caring and positive. Use examples of people you know who have benefitted from having their hearing checked. By doing this, you’re showing them they are not alone and that hearing loss is more common than they may think. Examples also help them get a clearer understanding of how their life can be changed for the better once they’ve addressed the issue.
Lastly, offer to get your hearing checked with them. This can help them feel less nervous or worried. Also, if you accompany them, you’ll be aware of their results and what the doctor recommends for them, making it easier for you to continue to assist them in their journey to better hearing.
If you have questions about hearing loss or feel you or someone you know may be experiencing hearing loss, contact New Generation Hearing Centers today for a free consultation!