Talking to a Loved One About Hearing Loss
| 3 min read
- Talk in person, in a comfortable setting. Don’t approach the topic in front of others, which can cause embarrassment, or over the phone, which can seem impersonal. Set up a time to talk one to one in an environment where they feel safe and not defensive. You still may need to approach the topic several, or more, times. But keeping their feelings at the forefront of the conversation is important.
- Focus on the facts. It can be helpful to talk about how common hearing loss is, as a way to help reduce the stigma of aging. Knowing there are millions of Americans who are affected by hearing loss lets them know they are not alone. It might not make it easier to accept, but knowing the facts can help keep the conversation from feeling like a personal criticism.
- Share support and solutions. Let them know that you are there to help in any way, whether that be setting up a hearing screening or shopping for hearing aids if they choose to use them. Be empathetic and let them know you understand how they are feeling.
- Be mindful of how you communicate. You can also make small changes to help improve conversations you have with someone who has hearing loss. For example, face the person directly when you talk, and keep your hands away from your face when you are speaking.