Helping a Family Member
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Helping a Family Member With Hearing Loss
Because hearing loss can happen so gradually, many people don’t realize it’s happening to them. Even after they notice a decline in hearing, they’re hesitant to get the help they need. Here are a few ways you can assist a family member or friend who is suffering from hearing loss.
Don’t ‘become their ears’
When a loved one has hearing loss, people try to help by speaking louder, repeating things or being a ‘go-between’ for phone conversations. All these well-intended efforts do is continue their failure to seek help.
Remind them they’re not alone
Over 31.5 million Americans suffer from hearing loss and millions wear hearing aids. They include presidents, actors and actresses, heads of major corporations, athletes, and people in all walks of life.
Accepting hearing loss is a process
People with hearing loss experience something similar to a mourning process. Recognizing these stages can help you understand and support their path to get hearing aids.
- First is denial. They don’t believe they have a hearing problem and often won’t talk about it with others.Second is withdrawal. The person retreats from social situations and activities.
- Anger is the next stage. They become frustrated and less tolerant with others.
- Next they may be depressed at the realization of their hearing loss. Making sure to keep them included in conversations and activities can help lessen this stage.
- At last, comes acceptance. The person is ready to seek help. Your understanding and participation in the process will make it seem less daunting.
Hearing problems can be effectively treated
At Hearing Services, we successfully treat over 90% of confirmed cases of hearing loss. We make improving hearing easier because our process includes certified professionals, accurate diagnosis, custom fitting of appropriate amplification as well as the ongoing commitment of Dr. Papel to the patient’s overall satisfaction.
Research also shows hearing aids have many other positive benefits on interpersonal relationships and overall quality of life. In fact, a survey by the National Council on Aging found: Treatment of hearing loss improves relationships at home and with family:
- Using hearing aids is associated with reductions in anger, frustration, paranoia, and anxiety.
- People using hearing aids report better health than hard-of-hearing people who don’t use them.
- 9 out of 10 hearing instrument users report improvements in their quality of life.