If you’re a spouse, partner, relative or friend of someone who has hearing loss, it can be hard to stay supportive.
No matter how hard we try to be mindful of the problem. It’s easy to feel like we’re just being ignored especially if they refuse to seek treatment.
In these situations, it’s a good idea to sit down with them when you’re both in a friendly mood. Tell them you’ve noticed that when you’re talking together, they don’t always hear you. You know it’s not their fault. But you think it might be time to get their hearing checked out by a professional.
It takes a lot of patience and cooperation between both of you to reach the best conclusion. But there are four things you should never ever say to someone who suffers from hearing loss:
1. “I’m so sick and tired of repeating myself!”
If you’re frustrated by the need to repeat what you say, imagine how frustrating it must be to not hear it in the first place! Whenever you feel angry at someone with hearing loss, try to stop yourself. Remind yourself that it’s not their fault. Hearing loss is an invisible handicap. The better you can recognize that, the better you can communicate with them and help them along the path to better hearing.
2. “It’s driving me crazy how deaf you are!”
You should never make your loved one feel like they’re a burden to you. When someone is feeling isolated by hearing loss, insults, anger and judgement only make the problem worse.
3. “Just forget it.”
The third time you have to repeat something, you may become so frustrated that you give up on the conversation altogether. This is one of the most depressing parts of being a person with hearing loss. Even when you want to communicate, others give up on you. Instead, look them in the eye while you’re speaking and talk slowly, not just loudly.
4. “You need a freaking hearing aid!”
True as this may be, many people shut down at the first mention of hearing aids. They imagine the clunky devices of yesteryear. And fear the social stigma and implications of the devices. It’s better to simply suggest that your loved one get their hearing checked. After that, we can determine the best choice for treatment together.
Hearing loss is a challenge for both you and your loved ones.
If you’re looking for ways to guide someone you care about to better hearing, and restore them to their old self, give me a call at 617-934-6987. We’ll work together to find a solution that works — for both of you.