The holidays are about family and the joy of staying connected.
While it may seem counter to the Christmas spirit to discuss health matters, we think there's no better time than to raise the issue, especially if someone you know is showing signs of hearing loss.
The holidays are about showing love. What better way to demonstrate your affections for the people you care about than to express concern about their health? Family gatherings are occasions when hearing loss can be most apparent. So during this time there are many opportunities to raise the subject in a discreet and dignified way.
Remember, the sounds most missed by people who have hearing loss are the voices of the people they care most about. Whether it's children's laughter or affectionate whispers of a partner that suddenly go unheard, the sounds of family are what can be preserved through frank, kind discussions about hearing loss, its effects and the potential solutions.
A couple of months ago we published advice on how to discuss hearing loss. Just In time for the holidays, here are those same suggestions again.
5 Tips on How to Discuss a Loved One's Hearing Loss
1. Be Direct.
The best way to deal with any situation when it comes to the healthcare of someone you care deeply about is to avoid putting it off. Tell the person that you have noticed a slip in their hearing and then go through the steps that can help him or her deal with the issue, including receiving a complimentary hearing screening.
2. Give Examples.
We all require proof, particularly in a situation that might cause us to become defensive. In anticipation of that circumstance, be ready to provide examples of recent situations where you noticed your loved one failing to hear you. These should be common occurrences in settings where there is not a lot of noise interference. Family gatherings are an excellent opportunity for such an intervention.
3. Be Compassionate.
Not only should you express your concern calmly and with carefully chosen words, you should emphasize why you want your loved ones to deal with their hearing loss. More than likely, it's because you want to maintain their quality of life and the quality of time you have with them. It's also helpful to quote statistics that help your loved one know he or she is far from alone. More than 7 million Canadians have hearing loss.
4. Emphasize the Positive.
Hearing aids, used to treat hearing loss are not at all what they were decades ago. They're small, light and attractively designed.
5. Do It Yourself.
Make a new year's resolution to get a hearing screening along with your loved one. That will make him or her feel less alone, reinforce the strength of your relationship and potentially stave off your own hearing-loss issue. With hearing loss occurring in younger and younger Canadians, you'll be doing yourself and your loved one a favour by seeing a Connect Hearing professional together.
Check out this video from our own MJ DeSousa talking about the most common signs of hearing loss:
From everyone here at Connect Hearing we would like to wish you and your family a very happy holiday and a safe and prosperous New Year.