When you begin to notice a family member struggling with their hearing, it’s instinct to want to jump in and help. But how do you be an advocate without being pushy or invasive? Here are some helpful tips to help encourage your family member to get their hearing tested while respecting their feelings.
If you are noticing signs that a family member or friend may have hearing loss, the best thing to do for them is suggest they see a hearing professional for a test. Hearing loss can be a sensitive subject for those not familiar with the topic, but there are several options to help your loved ones restore and protect their hearing.
Annual hearing screenings from your local hearing health professional are recommended for everyone. It is important to test your hearing ability and track any changes or issues that may arise from year to year. They will also know what is best for your specific needs, are you to have any.
The longer you wait, the worse the situation can get. Hearing loss can worsen if untreated which affects both the person with hearing loss and their family, friends, coworkers, etcetera. Once your hearing is gone, it cannot be restored.
Untreated hearing loss has been linked to several other health concerns like Alzheimer’s, dementia and depression. To encourage your loved one to get their hearing tested and take steps towards a better quality of life try these steps:
1. Make them aware of the effects hearing loss can have on one’s life
Hearing loss can make daily activities frustrating and affect the people around you. More information about the effects of hearing loss can be found here: the surprising effects of untreated hearing loss.
2. Inform them that hearing loss is common and can easily be treated
1-in-6 baby boomers struggle with hearing loss, but with today's modern advancements in hearing aid technology, there is no reason to "just put up" with hearing loss anymore.
3. Let them know there are many options to treat hearing loss, and a hearing health professional will help them find the best option for their lifestyle
There are all types and styles of hearing aids that can be customized to fit anyone’s hearing needs. Some sit inside your ear canal and are virtually invisible to those around you, others can connect directly to your iPhone. There are plenty of options available.
4. Let them know they have your support and aren’t alone
Suggest going with them to their appointment and have your hearing tested too. Involving other family members or friends is also a good idea to know they have a support system.
5. Follow up with progress
Your family member or friend will be much more likely to follow through with future appointments and treatment if they know you’re waiting to see progress made. If you’re struggling to get them to take that next step, call your local hearing professional and ask for their advice.
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