How to deal with hearing loss as a family
Hearing loss can challenge entire families. Not only does the person with the disability experience an assortment of difficulties, but those around them must also learn new ways of getting their point across. It’s for this reason that hearing loss is considered a “shared disability.”
The impact of hearing loss on family members
Here are some ways hearing loss affects family members:
• Difficulty communicating. The partner and family members of someone with hearing loss may feel exhausted or frustrated when they need to repeat themselves often or enunciate in order to be understood. This can place a significant amount of strain on the relationship.
In particular, the spouse or partner of someone with a hearing impairment may miss the small communications common in relationships and begin to feel like they’ve lost the connection once shared.
• Fewer social interactions. Many people with untreated hearing loss try to avoid loud environments. If those closest to them decide to offer support by also forgoing social events, they may begin to feel socially isolated. This can cause resentment and affect the relationship.
• Concerns about safety. Driving, walking and certain types of work can all be dangerous, especially for people who can’t hear everything that’s going on around them. Those closest to people with hearing impairment may become worried or anxious about their loved one’s safety when they’re on their own.
They may become stressed or overprotective regarding safety, which can cause resentment in the relationship.
Tips for people close to those with a hearing impairment
Here are some things you can do to more easily communicate with the person in your life with a hearing impairment:
• Encourage your loved one to obtain and wear hearing aids
• Text or email things that you want to be sure they’ll understand
• Try to minimize background noise when speaking to your loved one
• Encourage others to speak clearly or repeat themselves to be sure your loved one with hearing loss feels included
Get a hearing test and/or hearing aids
If you or a loved one is having trouble hearing, booking a hearing test is the first step to take to improve the situation. Soundwave Hearing Care’s professional and friendly team of audiologists and hearing professionals can help. And with locations in Calgary, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge and High River, our services are available to people all over Alberta. Call the clinic closest to you to make an appointment today.