Hearing loss is frustrating on all accounts. It can be annoying to have to consistently repeat yourself; and, it’s also frustrating to be the one asking for the repeat. As a friend or family member of someone suffering from hearing loss, you probably find yourself wanting to blurt out, “you need hearing aids!” But, because this is such a sensitive topic, it’s better to take the sensitive approach.
Here are a few ways to start that conversation.
Approach the person in a private setting. A group setting will most likely lead to embarrassment, which could have adverse effects on the conversation.
Start by asking if they’ve noticed signs of hearing loss. Feel free to review our questionnaire with them. They may be relieved to have someone to talk to. If they deny there is an issue, (gently) provide examples of situations you’ve noticed that caused you concern.
Explain that hearing loss can lead to social isolation, depression, balance disorders, and even dementia. Also, explain that hearing loss is often irreversible, and the longer you wait, the more damage that is done.
Do your research beforehand, and present one or two options for audiologists in their area. Explain that the first step is just a hearing test.
Help them understand what to expect during the first visit with the audiologist.
End on a positive and encouraging note! Discuss how improved hearing will impact their life.