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Do's and Don'ts: When Your Loved One Has Hearing Loss

When your loved one has hearing loss

  • Do accompany your loved one to appointments and visits to professionals. You can provide valuable information to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of the hearing loss, as well as invaluable emotional support to your loved one.
  • Do speak openly to your loved one about how the hearing loss affects you and your family. Speak compassionately, not when angry or frustrated, and you’ll get a better response.
  • Do ask others to help you help your loved one. Your children, close friends and family doctor can help you motivate him or her to seek treatment.
  • Do obtain information on financial assistance for hearing loss treatment. Financial concerns may dissuade a loved one from getting needed help.
  • Do set an example. Have your hearing tested on a regular basis.
  • Do get information on hearing solutions. Many people with untreated hearing loss report a lack of knowledge about available solutions.
  • Do speak with others who’ve treated their hearing loss with a positive outcome. Share this information with your loved one.
  • Do practice good communication techniques. Remember communication is a two-way street, and you need to do your part.
  • Don't threaten or use guilt to persuade your loved one to seek treatment. Confrontation can lead to feelings of defensiveness and resentment, and can be a roadblock to seeking treatment.
  • Don't interpret for your loved one when he or she is having difficulty hearing or understanding. This enabling behavior gives your loved one another reason to delay or avoid seeking a solution.
  • Don't purchase hearing aids on the Internet and/or without seeing a hearing professional. Offers that promise “super hearing” and other schemes that seem too good to be true usually are. A negative experience with an unregulated device can lead to a rejection of trying a customized, individual solution that would have worked.
  • Don't withdraw from social situations due to your loved one’s hearing loss or you’ll end up feeling resentful. Encourage your loved one to seek treatment so that you both can enjoy social activities together once again.
  • Don't lose hope. Research shows that “family recommendation or pressure” is a top factor in influencing the decision to purchase hearing aids. With support, patience and information you can motivate your loved one to seek treatment.


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