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Understanding Hearing Loss with DeafHear’s Hearing Aid Service

Helping a Family Member with Hearing Loss...
DeafHear’s Hearing Aid Service

About DeafHear’s Hearing Aid ServiceOn average, people with hearing loss wait up to ten years before seeking help. That’s a long time for you to deal with the ramifications of your spouse/parent/friend’s hearing loss. It is normal to feel frustrated at times. You may find it difficult having to repeat yourself, translate for others, or raise your voice. You may miss the social engagements and activities that your partner or friend used to enjoy. You may not understand why your family member won’t seek help when the problem is obvious.

These feelings are very common, and it’s important to acknowledge them. But it’s also important to understand that the other person’s feelings are very different from yours. Your family member or friend simply may not be aware of the extent of the problem, because he or she literally does not hear what they are missing. As hearing loss typically develops gradually over a period of years, the hearing loss sufferer slowly forgets what normal hearing is like. Family members with normal hearing are acutely aware of all the missed interaction during the day, but the person suffering from hearing loss is not.

They also don’t realise how often you help them compensate for poor hearing. In other words, your helpful behaviours may actually prevent the hearing loss sufferer from realising the extent of the problem.

Why Helping is Not Always Helpful

When a family member has hearing loss, our natural inclination is to help them out. Helping behaviours such as repeating yourself, speaking loudly, and otherwise covering for someone with hearing loss can actually be counter-productive – even allow denial to continue.

The most loving thing you can do is to help your family member come to terms with their hearing loss, seek evaluation and treatment so they can fully participate in life again.

Starting the Conversation

  • Try to stay calm and objective, despite your frustrations. Your approach must be one of compassion and love. Respect that your family member may not be ready to accept their hearing loss. Sometimes the conversation must take place in small steps over a longer period of time.

  • Begin by completing and printing our Hearing Loss Observation Questionnaire. Which gives you a way to document the behaviours you observe in your family member.

  • Rather than focus on the frustration you feel, it may be more productive to share the impact hearing loss is having on your relationship – missed opportunities for conversation, connection and shared experiences.

Don’t underestimate the potential impact
of hearing loss on a person’s quality of life.

The most loving thing you can do is to help your family member
come to terms with their hearing loss, seek evaluation and
treatment so they can fully participate in life again.