Living with a loved one with a hearing loss can be emotionally taxing, especially if the person keeps denying they have a hearing loss or refuses to treat it.
Here at Provincial Hearing, we’ve heard the many reasons for neglecting or delaying hearing care – and we understand them all, but we are here to help you and your loved ones recognize the beauty in seeking help.
Below, we answer some of your questions about how to support your loved one as they come to terms with their degree of hearing loss and their need for treatment and what your best options are.
Why Do People Delay Hearing Treatment?
Cost – The biggest claim for avoiding hearing treatment is that it will cost too much. This isn’t true, as there are so many hearing packages available to help people living on a small budget.
The cost of better hearing has no price when it allows you the opportunity to reconnect with your loved ones.
Appearances – They fear people will presume they are old or incapable if they have to wear a visible hearing aid. But there is no surer sign of being old than having someone shout “What?” multiple times after someone speaks.
This outdated misconception couldn’t be further from the truth.
We have many discreet types of hearing aids to choose from that no longer look like the bulky hearing aids of yesteryear. Some are practically invisible.
When Is Hearing Loss First Recognized?
Family and friends are usually the first to notice a loved one might have a hearing loss. You notice them asking for things to be repeated, they are accusing the speaker of mumbling or they’re turning the TV up too loud.
Fortunately, a lot of our patients address their hearing loss after encouragement from loved ones.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
Talking to a loved one about their hearing loss can become emotional because you are trying to explain that you miss the close communication you used to have together. It’s so much easier to stick to logic and facts when you know what you are talking about.
You can learn a lot about the signs of a hearing loss, what having a hearing assessment is like, the consequences of not treating a hearing loss and the huge breakthroughs in hearing aid technology that are available these days.
- Visit us – The fastest way to learn about how to support your loved one is to come see us at Provincial Hearing so we can answer all your questions in one visit.
We can work with their insurance company to see what’s covered and talk about our different hearing packages.
- Research – Online research can help a lot as long as the sites you visit are educational rather than trying to sell you a product.
- Friends’ stories –Friends who wear hearing aids or have a hearing journey story can also be a big help in terms of learning about the process and also in allaying your loved one’s fears.
How To Offer Support
We have seen far more success when someone with a hearing loss feels supported and understood rather than nagged into doing something about it.
They need to know you will be there for them as they come to their decision about what to do and how to do it.
Asking them questions about what they are experiencing can be good because it can help you understand their frustration with not being able to understand the first time.
If they feel they can trust you with their thoughts and feelings, they will turn to you rather than away from you if their hearing gets worse or they get tired of not hearing well.
If you go with them to their hearing test, you can help answer any of our questions and “translate” anything they might not hear clearly. You can even offer to get a hearing test yourself to make them feel less alone.
The First Steps To Better Hearing
Have them book a hearing assessment at Provincial Hearing. We’ll test every aspect of their hearing and give the results immediately after.
We’ll also clean out any buildup of earwax, if needed, and recommend any hearing solutions.
If they aren’t ready to do this yet, always feel free to call us yourself with any questions or if you need encouragement. We’re here to help.
How To Approach A Loved One With A Hearing Loss
The easiest way in is to tell them that they might not be hearing as well if they have some earwax buildup. Then they can book an ear cleanout appointment and we can do a hearing test after to see if that was the issue.
Ask your GP if they will screen for a hearing loss at your loved one’s next well check so they can refer them on to us.
Tell them you miss being able to converse easily and you would love to feel close again – would they please get their hearing tested for you?