You may have a family member that often struggles through conversations and has difficulty participating in social activities due to hearing loss. Perhaps they are constantly asking you and others to repeat themselves but are reluctant to address the situation. This scenario happens much more frequently than you might think. It can be extremely challenging to get a loved one to get a hearing test for an accurate diagnosis. Even then, a test is just the first step. Taking action to rectify the issue is generally a whole other concern.
Understanding the Resistance to Hearing Loss Treatment
A good starting point is generally to try figuring out the root of why getting help with hearing loss is being avoided. There are many different reasons a person may be hesitant to address a hearing issue.
- Hearing loss develops slowly so it is not always easy to recognize for the person it is happening to
- There is often no pain or discomfort
- Individuals can usually carry on with some degree of daily living
- There are a variety of ways to accommodate the issue by turning up the volume or asking people to repeat themselves
- Hearing loss is usually only partial so some frequencies can be heard at normal levels
- The stigma of wearing a hearing aid
Overcoming Resistance to Get Help With Hearing Loss
There are many different approaches that can be taken to help ease the opposition to hearing tests. Whether a person is not aware of the hearing loss or is willfully ignoring it, they may not be aware of the potential damage being done by ignoring it.
Become Familiar With the Topic of Hearing Loss
Getting educated on the subject is an excellent way to learn more about the challenges. Knowing as much as you can helps to understand your loved one’s point of view to determine the best way to tackle the problem. It also helps for presenting a compelling argument about the risks of untreated hearing loss.
Explain the Risks
Most people wait an average of 7-10 years to get assistance with a hearing problem, even after being diagnosed by a professional. Always finding workarounds for the frequent issues they face becomes part of their routine. Laying out in detail facts about how hearing loss gets worse over time, can cause permanent damage, and can contribute to a range of other health conditions, can have a powerful effect.
Bring it up When the Timing is Right
People tend to be less resistant to new ideas when they are in a good mood. It is not recommended to broach the topic of hearing loss when your loved one is stressed or irritated. The way in which you approach the subject is also important.
Approach With Empathy and Support
Taking an accusatory tone is never a good idea when trying to shift someone’s attitude or point of view about an issue. Approach the situation with compassion and really try to see it from your loved one’s side. Explain that you are just trying to help and you only want to enrich the quality of daily life. You may also need to exercise some patience as it may not happen the first time the subject is broached.
Utilize Resources & Technology
Advancements in hearing aid technology have come a long way, to the point where hearing aid devices can be extremely effective while remaining barely noticeable. Take advantage of mobile hearing services to make it as comfortable and convenient as possible for your loved one to participate in a hearing test. An assessment with a hearing professional can be arranged in the comfort of home to get an idea of the best way to proceed. In many cases, once a person with hearing loss realizes the incredible benefits hearing aids have to offer they wish they had gotten help sooner.