It can be easy to view someone in your family who appears to be losing his or her hearing as creating an inconvenience for you -- after all, you might frequently find yourself having to raise your voice or repeat your conversations. It's vitally important, however, to be sensitive to this issue and remember that the person going through the challenge is likely feeling a wide range of unpleasant emotions. To this end, while you shouldn't feel shy about discussing the person's hearing with him or her, it's imperative that you do so in a supportive manner. If you've noticed that a family member's hearing doesn't appear to be as strong as it once was, here are some steps to help you proceed.
Keep Track Of Specific Incidents
Having a short list of specific incidents helps reinforce your case in any situation, and given that the person losing his or her hearing might initially be a little defensive about this issue, it's valuable to keep track of times that the person's hearing difficulties impacted something. For example, you could note that the person didn't hear the doorbell ring when guests were arriving to a party, which meant that the guests had to stand outside for several minutes. You can also approach the list from a purely sympathetic viewpoint, perhaps noting that you could tell from the person's body language that he or she wasn't able to follow a grandchild's story, which made you sad.
Find The Right Opportunity
You should never react hastily to a perceived hearing issue by commenting on the person's difficulty in front of others. Doing so can make the person feel judged and alone and you won't often get far with your attempt to help the person see a hearing specialist. Whether you want to talk to the person alone or with another family member, such as a spouse, it's important to do so at a quiet time where there won't be interruptions. Inviting the person over for coffee and initiating the discussion can be useful.
Move Forward Positively
You don't need to tell the person that he or she needs hearing aids. Simply share some of the specific incidents on your list and ask if the person can recall these moments. Explain that you're concerned that the person's quality of life might be less than it could be because of hearing difficulties. Suggest visiting a hearing specialist, like those at Hearing Health Clinic, for a hearing test. You don't need to take the discussion further -- seeing a specialist will provide a thorough examination that will indicate whether hearing aids are necessary. You can, however, pledge your support by offering to take the person to the appointment.