How to have the difficult conversation about hearing loss
If, over the festive season, you noticed a good friend or loved one was struggling to keep up with conversation, now is a good time to talk to them about it.
While it’s understandable to want to avoid this potentially tricky topic, there are ways to make the conversation a positive experience for you both.
Five helpful tips:
1. Timing is everything:
Find a time when you’re both relaxed. Make sure your loved one can see and hear you clearly, so don’t opt for a busy café or restaurant. Somewhere where they feel at ease is best.
2. Take their lead:
Rather than starting the conversation with your concerns about their hearing, which may put them on the defensive straightaway, how about using your own experience? Did you struggle to hear at a party or gathering over Christmas or New Year? They might agree and share their own struggles. This gives you an easy ‘in’ to the conversation.
3. Keep it simple:
Make sure your conversation stays positive. Reassure your loved one about how quick and easy it is to check their hearing. There’s a free test on the RNID’s website that takes only a few minutes. Or there are various free hearing tests that you can download to your smartphone.
4. Share the experience:
Could you both do the hearing test together? This will make the process less scary for your loved one.
5. Reassurance is vital:
One in six people in the UK has some form of hearing loss, which adds up to around 11 million people. However, Brits wait, on average, ten years before seeking help. Untreated, hearing loss can lead to mental health problems and a greater risk of developing dementia, so the sooner it’s diagnosed and treated, the better.
Here for you
If the free hearing tests show there’s an issue, or even if they don’t but you still have concerns, remember that our experienced team at The Hearing Clinic is here to support you. You don’t need a GP referral to see us, simply make an appointment for a hearing assessment directly with us.
We will check your loved one’s ears for wax build-up and we can perform a full in-depth – and painless – hearing assessment. You’re very welcome to attend the appointment too.
Call us today to book an appointment.