How to Convince a Loved one that they might need a Hearing Aid
Post on 8th October 2018
Whilst you may head to the dentist if you have a pain in your tooth, or to the optician if you’re struggling with your sight, hearing can often be something that’s overlooked. Many people struggle to hear but never get round to doing anything about it, simply just turning the TV a little louder or constantly asking friends and family to repeat themselves. Signs to look out for when you suspect someone close to you might need a hearing aid are things like that person having difficulty joining in a group conversation, turning the TV or radio louder than what is considered normal, straining to hear during a conversation or even just avoiding conversations altogether. You might be sure that a friend or family member is in need of hearing assistance, but they might be unaware. How do you convince them it’s time to get checked out?
Understand why they’re in denial
Someone may refuse to believe that their hearing is deteriorating for a fear of totally losing their independence. Until it begins to fade, we are unaware just how much we depend on being able to hear clearly, everything around us. But the truth is, an undiagnosed hearing issue can, in the long term, be an issue for that person’s health and safety and once they have accepted that inability to hear totally independently, they can be fitted professionally for a hearing aid, which will restore their hearing and improve their quality of life almost immediately. Understanding their fears and then explaining the benefits will show them that you are looking at things from their perspective.
Do your research
Before you approach someone close to you to tell them that you think they need a hearing aid, it can help if you are clued up yourself about how hearing aids work and how they can help that person. Of course, you don’t need to be an expert, but take time to research the basic facts of hearing loss and hearing aids – after all, it could simply be a fear of the unknown stopping someone from seeking help. Our website contains a lot of information regarding hearing loss and you may find our section ‘your hearing explained’ particularly useful.
Focus on the effect the issue is having
Rather than simply telling your loved one over and over that they are losing their hearing, which risks causing upset and offence, tell them what you’ve noticed in recent months and the effect this is having not only on you but other loved ones and everyone’s daily lives. Seeing it from this perspective might allow them to realise that them not being able to hear as well as they once could isn’t only affecting them, but others too. They are more than likely already aware that they can’t hear things as they should, but perhaps they haven’t considered the effect it’s having on the people they care about.
Whilst you may consider your loved one stubborn due to their insistence to ignore their hearing issue, you have to understand that this is a frightening time for anyone and a little compassion is far more likely to help you in convincing them to seek help than anger or frustration will be.
Do explain the urgency
Yes, you don’t want a friend or family member to feel pressured, victimised or frightened by their health issues but you do want to convey the urgency of an undiagnosed hearing issue that will only get worse if left untreated. Not only does it have a negative effect on a person’s health, it is also significantly detrimental to their wellbeing. Not being able to hear can be scary and often force people into social isolation which can lead to depression and other mental health illnesses. We need to hear to keep our brain energised and our minds active, explaining this to someone who has difficulty hearing might just convince them to go and get that all important hearing aid.