There are many reasons your loved ones might resist getting their hearing tested. Some people don’t want to admit that there may be a problem since it’s often seen as a sign of getting older, while others are simply embarrassed to admit there is a problem at all.
As with other conditions, hearing loss can come on slowly, so it may be the case that a family member hasn’t noticed their hearing loss at all. There are several steps you can take to convince a loved one to get a hearing test and ultimately not only improve their own lives but the lives of those around them.
Have a Heart to Heart
It’s never easy to have a conversation with a loved one about a medical or quality of life issue, but it is important that they hear it from someone who cares and wants to get them the help they need. Imagine the alternative, that your family member gets a constant barrage of store clerks and other people getting annoyed at having to repeat themselves, and someone you care about having to deal with constantly asking those around them to repeat themselves in social settings. This is not a conversation for strangers to have. Sit down with your loved one, and explain that there is a problem, and emphasize that the first step involves only getting a hearing test. Offer to go with them to make the experience easier, and let them know that no matter the outcome your feelings won’t change.
Explain Why It’s So Important
The best way to deal with hearing loss is to start getting regular checkups before it becomes a problem. If you are helping a loved one who already has a problem, explain that putting off a test can make the problem worse. If their response is that they don’t have any hearing loss, use that as an opportunity to explain that it is better to be safe than sorry, and that many people get tested who aren’t aware there is a problem, or to nip one in the bud.
Explain the Risks
People who do not treat their hearing loss not only suffer from a lower quality of life, they may also suffer from other health issues. Dementia, heart disease, and depression are all linked to hearing loss, and a hearing test can help stave off those other conditions. Also explain that hearing loss only gets worse if left untreated. In severe cases, a person’s hearing may get to the point where it cannot be restored. Connect this with their quality of life and the quality of life for the entire family.
No one is better suited than you to talk about hearing loss with your family. Their quality of life and the quality of life of those around them depend on a heartfelt conversation that leads to action in the form of testing.