Help Others with “Sound Advice”
The person with a hearing loss is usually “the last one to know.” Family, friends and co-workers notice the problem long before the person with the hearing loss does.
That’s because hearing loss usually develops so slowly that there’s no sudden change in the sensation of hearing. Also, only certain sounds are affected. Words are loud enough, they’re just not clear enough.
Unfortunately, family and friends have to put up with the frequent misunderstandings and requests to repeat, while the person with the hearing loss convinces himself there’s really no problem. What prevents someone from seeking help for hearing loss?
Lack of Awareness
It is a lack of awareness that prevents someone from seeking help. To motivate someone to seek help you need to create awareness. This is how Carol Myers, wife of author David Myers, handled it:
“I made the decision to tell David each time he misheard something or missed it altogether. No more was I going to just repeat or explain what happened. Instead, I would calmly say, “David, you didn’t hear what Andy said … it was my version of ‘tough love.’ The most productive, caring response was to try to force David out of denial so he would take positive steps. It worked.” (from “A Quiet World” by David Myers, Yale University Press.)
Some other tips:
- Suggest a hearing test. An audio logic evaluation doesn’t hurt—and we’ve never heard anyone complain if the results indicate normal hearing.
- Don’t criticize. It’s just not helpful.
- Don’t compensate. By talking louder, you’re helping the person pretend there isn’t a problem.
- Give them this newsletter. Information and knowledge are powerful tools