Hearing loss can be frustrating on all accounts. It can be annoying to have to repeat yourself consistently. It’s also very frustrating to be the one to ask others to repeat. As a friend or family member of someone suffering from hearing loss, I know first hand that is can be down right difficult to communicate. It is such a sensitive topic, you need to take the sensitive approach.
Here are a few ways to start the conversation.
- Approach the person in a private setting. A group setting will most likely lead to embarrassment, which could have the adverse effects on the conversation.
- Start the conversation by asking if they have noticed signs of hearing loss. Go over the common signs and symptoms of hearing loss with them. They may be relieved to have someone to talk to. If they deny that they have a hearing loss, provide them with examples of situations that cause you concern. Just make sure you speak with sincerity.
- Explain that hearing loss can lead to cognitive decline. Which in turn can lead to social isolation, depression, balance disorders and even dementia. Also explain to them that hearing loss is often irreversible. The longer you wait, the more damage is done.
- Do your research before sitting down and present them with a few different options of audiologist in the area. Explain that the first step is getting a hearing evaluation.
- Help them to understand what they can expect during their first visit.
- End on a positive and encouraging note. Discuss how improved hearing will impact their life for the better!
We encourage you to sit down sooner rather than later to discuss hearing loss.