If a friend, partner, family member or co-worker has recently experienced hearing loss, then you may be wondering what steps you can take to help them to adjust to their new normal. Adapting to any changes to the senses can be tricky at first, as there’s a seemingly whole new world that needs navigating. However, the good news is that when it comes to hearing loss, adaptation doesn’t have to be a struggle, it can be a positive experience.
Wondering what steps, you can take to help a loved one dealing with hearing loss? Have a read of the tips and ideas below!
Attend appointments with them
If the person dealing with hearing loss feels like they would like support at their appointments, make sure to be available to go with them. They’re adjusting to a huge lifestyle change and will need plenty of support while they adjust and get used to life with hearing loss.
It’s important to remember that they may also still be in a state of shock if their hearing loss has occurred suddenly and may struggle knowing what questions to ask at appointments. If this is the case, perhaps beforehand you could sit down together and think about questions to ask and write them all down ready for their next appointment. That way, you can ensure that everything that they want to know, you ask while you’re there.
Discuss taking auditory rehabilitation classes
Often, when someone develops hearing loss, they struggle to adapt to life without their hearing working properly, which is why auditory rehabilitation classes can help to make the process of adjusting easier.
These kinds of classes focus on improving communication between the person with hearing loss and their family and friends, which can help to make life easier. Often, one of the key concerns of someone living with hearing loss is not being to effectively communicate with their friends and family, which is why rehabilitation classes can be so helpful.
Make communication the priority
Being able to communicate properly with a loved one who has hearing loss is important, which is why making communication a priority is so vital. Whether this means discussing the concept of them getting hearing aids to help improve the hearing that they do have or learning sign language, it doesn’t matter.
What’s important is that communication is made a priority, so discussing this at their initial appointment is vital. It’s crucial that hearing aids are considered straight away, and that other ways of communicating are also shared, such as via sign language or potentially via a cochlear implant.
When talking to your loved one with hearing loss, make sure to look directly at them – as this makes lip reading a little easier. Don’t chew gum or talk with food in your mouth as this changes the shape of your lips as you speak.
Get creative when it comes to communication. When your loved one is still learning to lip read and sign, get creative when it comes to communicating. Don’t get frustrated if they struggle to understand you – be patient with them as they learn. A simple and effective way to communicate is via text messaging – this can work extremely well as a temporary solution.
Be an advocate
One of the best things that you can do to show a loved one that you are there to support them with their hearing loss is to become an advocate for deafness in your local community. You can take steps to help raise awareness of the impacts of hearing loss and share ideas for how local businesses and the community can make life easier for people living with hearing loss.
When it comes to attending larger gatherings, you can also take steps to make communicating for your loved one easier. You can contact everyone beforehand and share some pointers for easier communication, such as clearer pronunciation, not speaking over others and looking directly at the person while you talk.
When someone you care about develops hearing loss, it can be difficult to know what steps you should take to help them to continue leading a normal life. Hopefully the guide above will help you to do that and will make adjusting far easier for them.
Hearing loss doesn’t have to be a negative thing. It may not be a situation that they or you anticipated happening, but that doesn’t mean it has to be life changing. Hearing loss can be successfully managed with the right approach. Call Hear Again America at 877-905-9493 to learn more about how you can help your loved one.