Talking to a person you love about hearing loss can be very hard. While it may be clear that someone you care about is suffering, research shows that that people can wait years after the initial diagnosis before being fit with their first pair of hearing aids. It can be hard to find the right moment to speak about hearing aids, but we’ve put together a few easy, and helpful tips, for you:
Try and stay compassionate – people often feel like their loved ones are attacking them when they mention hearing aids. Rather than saying “you can never hear me”, say “I’m worried that you keep turning the television louder.” People don’t like to feel old, and associate hearing loss with old age, so be as gentle as you can to help them really hear what you are saying.
Show the benefits
Be really specific when speaking about how hearing aids can help. Instead of saying, “it will help you hearing” provide clear examples like “you’ll be able to hear your children in their school play”, or “you’ll hear some great jokes more clearly.”
Choose the right time
Wait until the person you are speaking to is comfortable. This could be when they are sitting at home or relaxed, and make sure there is minimum background noise so they can hear and understand what you are saying. Don’t raise your voice, but slowly and clearly say what you are feeling.
Suggest speaking to an audiologist
Before you go right into “you need hearing aids”, suggest a middle ground – that they speak to an audiologist. Most people will find it hard to refuse the suggestion that they simply test their hearing, and this is more gentle than saying they need hearing aids.