July 17, 2018
Health & Fitness
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When A Loved One Resists Help

Dr. Robin Robinson - Hearing Solutions Audiology Center
Dr. Robin Robinson - Hearing Solutions Audiology Center's picture
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August 10, 2017

When a loved one with hearing loss declines to use hearing aids, we often repeat ourselves, speak clearly, speak louder, or interpret what others say if the loved one cannot hear the message. But when we do these good deeds for loved ones with a hearing loss, we don’t realize that we’re assisting in their failure to seek help. Such well-intended efforts are counterproductive to the ultimate goal of them receiving hearing aids. Here’s why.

If a loved one with a hearing loss has come to rely on your good hearing, what is the great need for him or her to wear hearing aids? Your co-dependent efforts must stop in order for that person to grasp the magnitude of the problem. Many people with hearing loss never realize how much communication they actually fail to understand or miss completely, because you have become their ears. However, it takes only a short time for those people to realize that without your help, they’re in trouble. Through this realization, they become inspired to solve their problem. Therefore, as a loving spouse or family member, you must create the need for your loved one to seek treatment. You can accomplish this by no longer repeating messages and being their ears. Your ultimate goal is for them to hear independent of you.

Here are some practical tips for you:

·         Stop repeating yourself! Explain that you are on a “hearing help quest” — one that allows your loved one the opportunity to realize the significance of his or her hearing loss. Do not stop helping though. Instead, preface what you repeat each time by saying “hearing help” or some other identifier. In a short amount of time, your loved ones will realize how often you say this. In turn, they will realize how often they depend on you (This suggestion is only for a loved one who resists the idea of getting any help).

·         Stop raising your voice and then complaining you’re hoarse. That action stresses your throat and vocal cords.

·         Stop being the messenger by carrying the communication load for the family. Do not tell your loved one “he said” and “she said” when he or she needs to be responsible for getting this information directly from the source.

·         Do not engage in conversation from another room, as tempting as this is and as convenient as it appears. This sets up your communication process for failure.

·         Create a telephone need. This stops you from being the interpreter on the telephone. Allow your loved one to struggle in order to recognize how much help he or she needs. We’re looking for motivation (to hear) from your loved one, not you.

If your loved ones are depending on you to be their ears, encourage them to at least get a baseline test. Hearing health care is just as important to their overall wellness as vision and dental assessments. For more information, call the Hearing Solutions Audiology Center office at 410-672-1244 to schedule a hearing checkup.

Hearing Solutions Audiology Center has locations at 479 Jumpers Hole Road, Suite 203A, in Severna Park (call 410-672-1244), 269 Peninsula Farm Road, Suite F, in Arnold (call 443-906-2678), and 1413 Annapolis Road, Suite 104, in Odenton (410-672-1233).

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