Considering that around 48 million people are affected by hearing loss in the United States alone, hearing loss support should be a common topic of conversation. The problem is that it is often an invisible ailment and therefore much more difficult to discuss. The problem is that for those of us living with hearing loss issues, it can be tough to navigate through life without the support of friends and loved ones. For those who have only recently started dealing with hearing difficulties, it can be tricky to talk about it without feeling different or less than. It takes honesty to open up the conversation and provide those there to help and support with the necessary tools to create the best hearing loss support team! Below are several ways you can help your loved ones support you through your hearing loss journey.
Tell Your Teammates to Listen and Be Patient
This is the most straightforward and vital part of working together as a hearing loss team. If you are adjusting to life with hearing aids, the best thing you can tell your loved ones is to simply listen, have empathy, and be patient. It’s your process, you don’t need to decide how you feel right away. If your teammates can just be there to listen and try to understand your new needs, life will be a lot more enjoyable for everyone.
Get Everyone a Hearing Checkup
The fact of the matter is that anyone and everyone can benefit from getting a hearing evaluation. At Wesson Hearing Aid Center we offer free hearing evaluations because we believe it is important for everyone to know their hearing health status. If you are going through hearing difficulties you know that it can be hard to get over the denial that almost always goes along with hearing loss. Let your loved ones know how important it is to keep an eye on hearing health. Let everyone in your life know that a great way to show solidarity through your hearing loss journey is simply to identify their own hearing health issues early!
Communication is Key
How are your teammates supposed to back you up if they don’t know what you’re going through? It may be difficult to speak up about your hearing needs at first, but after a while the conversation becomes a natural part of life. Your loved ones will come to understand what you need from them and they can even start to advocate for you with others! Some of the most common ways to help your teammates understand your needs are as follows, tell your teammates to:
- Get your attention first before speaking.
- Maintain eye contact.
- Speak clearly and at a normal rate—no need to over exaggerate!
- Rephrase rather than repeat what I can’t understand.
- Keep your mouth uncovered so I can see your lips.
- Let me know if there is a subject change.
- Stay positive and keep a sense of humor!