Don't Be A Human Hearing Aid

February 2020.

Does someone you know need hearing aids but is refusing to get their hearing tested? Here are five tips to encourage them to seek help with their hearing and face reality.

#1. Stop being a human hearing aid.

Simply repeating everything that is said to them might seem like you are helping, but you are not. You are just helping them continue to deny that thereís a problem. Denial is part of the problem.

#2. Donít become their enabler.

Someone with hearing loss often finds ways to get around challenging situations. They ask people to repeat themselves. They turn up the volume on the TV so they can hear it better. They are using subtitles when watching movies or TV shows. They might even start learning how to read lips (Author's Note: I did this when I was teenager). But they also can end up wanting to rely on your help constantly, except you are not going to be there constantly to help them. If youíre continually willing to be their translator, it prolongs how long it takes them to admit it is time to get their hearing tested.

#3. Don't be emotional about it.

Donít tell them they need to get their hearing tested while you are having an argument or frustrated. Calm down and then provide them with factual examples of why you know they are having difficulties: The television volume is at maximum, you had to repeat what the doctor told them at the doctor's office, or they no longer want to go out to a restaurant or socialize with friends because it is difficult for them to hear and understand the conversation.

#4. Remind them about amazing new hearing aid technologies.

Did you know that hearing aids can have Bluetooth? Wearers donít need to take out their hearing aids to listen to their favourite music or talk on their smartphone. Did you know hearing aid prescriptions target where the problems are and donít simply act as an amplifier of all sounds? They are customized and tailored to each person's individual needs. Did you hear that they now have Invisible Hearing Aids? Come up with a list of hearing aid factoids to make them curious about the things that are available.

#5. Fashion accessories!

While modern hearing aids can be very discreet (or practically invisible) if that is what the wearer wants, they can also come in a variety of colours and shades so that you can match them to hair colour or bling them up like jewellery. People don't need to be embarrassed about wearing a hearing aid ó flaunt it!


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