Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing Test

Encouraging a Loved One to Take a Hearing Test

When hearing loss first occurs, people have a wide variety of responses. Some people jump at the opportunity to get help right away. They know that their conversations and other aspects of life can suffer from this limitation, and they are eager to fix the problem as soon as possible. Others are excited about getting hearing aids. These devices come with a long history of myths and misperceptions that can make people avoid getting them. Rather than getting help, they might think that hearing aids signify old age or limited independence. We know that the reality is quite contrary. Those who get hearing aids are better equipped to be independent in their communities and families. 

Still, others are not resisting getting help for hearing loss; they may not realize that it is an issue. Although you might think that hearing loss would be obvious to the person experiencing it, the condition can take place quite gradually over time. With these incremental changes in hearing ability, it is entirely possible that a person doesn’t realize hearing loss is an issue. They might even blame challenging situations on the circumstances of a loud restaurant or a quiet speaker. 

With these many possibilities in mind, the way you encourage a hearing test is crucial to a good reception. In each case, it is most important to center your loved one’s experience rather than telling them what to do. Let’s take a look at some good tips for your conversation. 

Start with Questions

Rather than beginning by telling your loved ones to get hearing aids, it is important to open up with questions about their experiences. You can ask about a time when it seemed like hearing was difficult. Simply providing the opportunity for your loved ones to talk about their experiences is an easy way to open the door to a bigger conversation about treatment. The simple question, “Have you been having any trouble hearing?” can lead to a variety of responses, ranging from dismissive, angry, to emotional. Be prepared to offer support in any instance. This conversation might be the first of many, so don’t take a refusal to get help as a permanent decision. 

Know the Basics

When you have this conversation with your loved one, come prepared with some basic information about hearing aids. You don’t need to know everything, and the experts should be left with decisions about which aids are appropriate for your loved one. However, a few basic facts can be helpful to get the conversation started. Take a look at some reliable resources online or through a well-known hearing aid manufacturer. You can use our blog as a resource, as well. These basic facts will give you a starting place to discuss when your loved one has questions or says something based on a myth. 

Provide Emotional Support

When you have this conversation, you must be prepared to offer emotional support. Your loved one is facing a challenging environment in communication and everyday life. Even raising the possibility of hearing loss can be difficult for your loved one to hear. Don’t let that emotional context stop you from having the conversation. Instead, come prepared to offer support. If you continue to ask questions about your loved one’s experience, that is the best way to make sure they feel loved and supported. When you walk away from the conversation, whether or not your loved one is prepared to get a hearing test, you should assure that person that you are asking from a position of care and love, desiring their wellbeing. 

The first step will be to schedule a hearing test. If your loved one is ready to get the test, you can help make the appointment and come along to offer moral support. Your presence through the diagnosis and fitting process will be helpful on several levels. Practically speaking, you can gather information and remember some of the details about the process that your loved one might forget. Beyond this practical function, your supportive and caring presence will make the process easier for your loved one, and it can even become a bonding experience between you.