If hearing loss is something that you have no prior experience with, then it can be hard to know how to support someone who is experiencing it for themselves. A new experience like this can be quite stressful and frustrating to work through without knowing what to do, and it can take time to come to a healthy conclusion.
It’s important to understand that you need to be patient when handling hearing loss, as you may have to frequently repeat things and raise your voice to make sure you’re clear enough while communicating.
Of course, the first tip you should make use of is making sure you’re speaking clearly with the family member in question. Try not to speak too fast or too slow, and certainly don’t mumble what you want them to hear. Hearing loss, even if it is minor, can make things more difficult to understand.
You’ll also want to make sure you’re facing the person you’re speaking with. Your words are half of the conversation, but reading your lips as well as your facial expressions can help to fill in the gaps of what they’re not understanding. This is a habit that you’ll want to learn as early as possible if you’re going to avoid any frustration from you or them.
In some cases, it’s better to avoid calls with the phone altogether, as that can be very difficult to understand. When there’s no body language to read from, phone conversations can be very difficult, so consider sending a message instead and keeping it simple until you’re face to face.
It’s also a good idea to avoid loud and crowded areas. If your family member has a hearing aid, it can be just as difficult to understand and hear what’s being said over the crowd around them,
As frustrating as it might feel for you to have to repeat yourself often, you should remember that it is even more frustrating for the person experiencing hearing loss. The situation itself can put a bit of a strain on life and change how they feel about social interactions, so make sure that whenever you’re communicating with them, you’re patient and understanding with their feelings.
You should also remember that these conversations can be very tiring for someone experiencing hearing loss, as they have to focus a lot more on what’s being said, so try not to overload them with information all at one time. Alternatively, if there’s a lot to be said, try to put it in text form to make it easier to digest.
Support their treatment
Dealing with hearing loss isn’t easy, and it can help a lot to have someone to go through it with. Try attending their appointments with them if possible when they go to see an audiologist and make sure they get the treatment they need to handle hearing loss much better. You can speak with their audiologist to make sure they’re getting the best hearing aids for them, and you can learn how to maintain them better.