Q&A: How Can I Help a Loved One With Hearing Loss?
If you’ve been wanting to spread the joy of better hearing to others — to pay it forward, so to speak — we’re making it easy, with 6 inspired ideas for the merry season and beyond.
Get a Head Start With These Inspiring Ideas
Paying It Forward Means Even More Q: As someone with firsthand experience tackling hearing loss, how can I help a loved one who’s having hearing difficulty? A: Kudos for wanting to help lift those around you! If you’ve been treated for hearing loss, you know the difference it can make in your quality of life. So how can you pay it forward if someone you care about has hearing issues? Here are 6 tips you can use.
1. Recognize the Signs
Hearing loss prevalence continues to climb, with the World Health Organization estimating it will affect 10% of the population by 2050. But not everyone with hearing difficulties is ready to admit it. Knowing some of the signs of hearing loss — loud TV volumes, trouble talking on the phone, frequent requests to repeat words, increased social isolation — can be the start of a life-changing conversation.
2. Share Your Story
Research indicates hearing aid wearers, on average, waited over a decade after a hearing loss diagnosis before getting their hearing technology. That’s a lot of time potentially missing out on the sounds of life — not to mention the physical, mental, social, and even financial consequences tied to untreated hearing loss. Sharing your better-hearing journey may inspire your loved one to kick-start their own.
3. Lend an Ear
Seeking hearing help may be a lot easier with the support of family and friends. If your loved one is thinking about taking the path to better hearing, it can make a big difference when you:
- Offer emotional support, patience, and encouragement
- Serve as a sounding board for their hearing-health goals
- Help them take note of their most challenging listening situations
4. Flex Your Skills
Whether streaming from audio devices, connecting to hearing loops, interfacing with smart-home technology, or tracking brain health, today’s modern hearing devices are chock-full of beneficial functions. We love helping patients get the most from their hearing aids, but imparting your own tips, tricks, and favorite apps goes a long way, too. Share your discoveries with a fun “tutorial.”
5. Learn Sign Language
How about picking up another language — sign language! American Sign Language (ASL) is one such form of communication common in the U.S. and Canada, and other types of sign-based languages abound around the world, too. It’s no secret that language builds connections across experiences, abilities, and cultures — think of travelers, for example, who make an effort to communicate as the local citizens do — so consider learning some key ASL words, phrases, and sentences that you can use.
6. Remember Self-Care
In the bustle of the season, you might forget to keep your own hearing health at its best. But as friends and family gather near and far, it’s a perfect reason to get your hearing — and your hearing technology — checked. Not only do adults treated for hearing loss report significant improvements in relationships, mental health, social engagement, and other crucial areas, but their loved ones report improvements, too. So take care of yourself — for them and for you. Do your New Year’s goals include better hearing? Whether your loved one needs a hearing evaluation or it’s been a while since your own checkup, our caring team can help. So don’t wait. Contact us to schedule a personalized appointment today!