If someone you know or love has experienced hearing loss or impairment, it’s likely their life has changed in some way. Even mild hearing loss can affect your job, relationships, and even your confidence. Consider how hard it would be to lose your hearing completely. It truly is a loss that has to be grieved. Simply having to wear a hearing aid may create low self-esteem, especially if it’s a young person. However, at any age or situation, a change in hearing creates a need for support from others. Here are some ways to support the hearing impaired.
Support The Hearing Impaired #1: Have Compassion
Anyone who experiences the loss of a normal function like hearing can go through a period of grief. This will take on various forms, depending on the person and the situation. One of the best ways to help someone with hearing loss is to empathize and show compassion. Think about how you would feel if it were you.
There are plenty of common emotions your loved one may encounter. Denial, anger, loneliness, confusion and depression are all normal and can affect how he/she functions. Give your friend or family member a safe place to talk through feelings and fears.
Support The Hearing Impaired #2: Become an Advocate
One of the best ways to show your support for the hearing impaired is to become an advocate for him/her. For example, when a situation arises that likely will include a group of people and background noise, you can help. Call or email the other guests and talk to them about clear communication skills with the hearing impaired. You could also offer to stay nearby during the event to help out with communication or anything he/she may have missed. This is especially helpful if you learn sign language and other ways to talk to your loved one.
On a more general level, you and your hearing-impaired loved one could get involved with hearing loss charities and fundraisers to help other people who are going through this challenge in their lives. This kind of support encourages your loved one to be themselves and to stay active. You can also keep up-to-date with the latest technology and check out sound amplifier reviews.
Support The Hearing Impaired #3: Practice Good Communication
Of course, communicating with the hearing impaired takes more effort, but it should not discourage you. On the plus side, you will have focused conversations that create a stronger bond between you and your loved one. Some practical tips include maintaining eye contact, face the other person, and keep your mouth uncovered. Additionally, speak slowly, clearly and articulate your sounds as well as you can. If he/she uses sign language, know the basics and continue to learn more as you can.
Support The Hearing Impaired #4: Get Your Hearing Checked
Another way to show your support is going along to audiologist appointments with your friend or family member. While you are there, make an appointment to have your own hearing tested, particularly if you are above the age of 40. Hearing loss can happen to anyone at any time. This shows that you truly are there for your loved one and do care about hearing.