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How to Help a Family Member

If you think that a member of your family, friend, or colleague is suffering from undiagnosed hearing loss, think about who would be the right person to discuss this with.If you are the right person, you should try to be as helpful and supportive as possible. Before you discuss the issue with the hearing-impaired person in question, keep in mind that he or she may not be aware of the problem and can be sensitive to the idea of hearing loss.

Your task is to continue being supportive, understanding and helpful. This site will help you by giving you great information on hearing loss and better communication habits. The more you know, the better you can help.

Hearing loss affects most people who suffer from it. But hearing impairment also affects those people closest to the hearing-impaired person, for example family, friends, and colleagues.

If you think somebody close to you is suffering from hearing loss, there are certain signs that you should be aware of. One or more almost always occur. Some depend on the degree of hearing loss and the individual’s reaction to his or her (undiscovered) hearing loss.

Some of the most common signs of hearing loss include:

  • Turning up the volume of the TV or radio
  • Problems hearing the doorbell or the telephone ringing
  • Difficulty hearing people calling and talking or talk from behind
  • Often asking people to repeat themselves – or saying “what?”
  • Misunderstanding what has been said or agreed upon
  • Often cupping hands behind the ears
  • “Forgetting” what has been said or agreed upon

If you find that your suspicion is confirmed and a hearing problem may be present, it is important that the individual has a hearing test. But before you discuss the issue with the hearing-impaired person in question, keep in mind that he or she may not be aware of the problem and may be sensitive to the thought of acknowledging the possibility of a hearing loss.

Here is some good advice for relatives and colleagues of a hearing-impaired person.

Advice for a relative:

  • Do not forget that a family member is suffering from hearing loss
  • Help the hearing-impaired person
  • Do not repeat what has just been said
  • Never patronize a hearing-impaired person
  • Use humor, it helps
  • Help to increase the hearing-impaired person’s confidence

Advice for colleagues:

  • Show consideration, but do not overdo it
  • Speak up a little, but do not shout
  • Keep eye contact
  • Do not turn your back on the hearing-impaired person while talking
  • Check whether the hearing-impaired person has understood what you have been saying
  • Let the hearing-impaired person tell you how to communicate in the best possible way
  • Show respect for the hearing-impaired person
  • Keep in mind that one of your colleagues is hearing-impaired

Hearing Health Center has 4 convenient, state of the art, offices located in the Chicagoland Area. If you’re ready to take the next step in improving your hearing, so are we. Please call to schedule an appointment at any of the locations below.

(312) 263-7171
(630) 369-8878
(630) 571-7111
(847) 681-7000
…or fill in the form on our Appointments page: