Talking about hearing loss
How do you begin a conversation with a loved one about hearing loss? How can you help them move through the stages of grieving for their hearing loss? Hearing loss is an invisible disability that they have no control over; they can only control their response to it. Beginning a conversation in a quiet, safe environment is the first step toward helping them. Here are some ways to open the conversation:
- Talk about what you perceive and ask them what they perceive (in a non-prosecutorial) manner. "When we were at dinner last night, could you understand the waitress?"
- Talk about situations where you both may have problems and situations where one of you seems to do better.
- If they have changed their activities, stopped going to club meetings for example, use this as an opportunity to talk about how hearing can impact the ability to feel connected and comfortable in these types of situations.
- Use the common signs and symptoms of hearing loss to talk about what you have observed. Take the assessment together and see how you both do.
- Go with them to their hearing test so that you can talk about your perspective as well.
Ready to seek treatment? Find a hearing healthcare professional near you.