It is common for a loved one with untreated hearing loss to distance themselves from family members and friends as frustration grows. But once he does seek out help for hearing loss – support from family and friends will be the key to helping him on his journey to better hearing. From processing information, to building confidence or maybe just listening, your loved one will certainly need your help.

Here are some ideas on how you can offer to support your loved one on his journey to better hearing:

  • Offer to attend a demo or go to an audiologist appointment to take notes
  • Offer to meet after an appointment to go over what was discussed and learned
  • Offer an encouraging word, something positive and concrete that has improved since he or she started wearing hearing aids
  • Offer to help in another way around the house or perhaps an errand or meal, because often the initial adjustment period is the hardest and your loved one may tire easier
  • Offer to just listen. What has been difficult? What is most surprising? What are you enjoying more?

A person new to hearing aids will experience an adjustment period. The most obvious adjustment is to the fit and feel of the hearing aids. Your loved one may also be hearing sounds that were lost for quite some time, and this can be difficult as the brain relearns to process and prioritize. Your loved one may also be learning about new technology such as smart phone apps or wireless accessories. This is a lot to process for anyone, so expect them to feel tire and sometimes frustrated. In fact, we find that patients that do not have a strong family or friend support systems, can often times throw in the towel early and the hearing aids end up in the back of drawer while their hearing health further declines.

So if your loved one or friend is getting a new set of hearing aids for the first time, reach out and ask how you can be there to support and provide encouragement.