The impact of hearing loss is felt by those whose hearing is impaired, as well as their family members. Compensating for someone else’s hearing loss can cause stress in the relationship, especially if your role in communication has you feeling like you’ve become a “human hearing aid.” Do any of these situations sound familiar?
- Can you repeat that? A human hearing aid is often asked to repeat what was said: the details of a shared conversation, a television program, or what everyone else is finding so funny. Of course we want the people we care about to share in the conversation, and get the punch line, but what starts out feeling like a courtesy can begin to feel like obligation.
- You have to TALK LOUDER. The human hearing aids also have to TALK LOUDER, when speaking to someone with hearing loss. Sometimes it feels easier not to speak, and so fewer conversations are shared.
- The friendly interpreter. Even though you’re not in a foreign country, it can feel that way. “The waitress said the menu specials are…” You may even find yourself making decisions for someone because it’s easier that reiterating an entire conversation
- The Homing Device. Once a person has hearing aids they won’t want to leave home without them. In the meanwhile, they may have you attending social events and staying close by to save them from embarrassment. If they say their hearing loss isn’t that bad, it may be because you are helping them to hear what’s going on. Sometimes activities and social occasions become less frequent and this can lead to frustration and isolation.
Hearing loss affects millions of people, and it’s normal to try to normalize the situation by filling in the gaps. While these gestures do show genuine care and concern, they aren’t a long term solution. Just as you would invest in a pair of eye glasses to ensure that a family member was able to see, hearing aids can also provide a solution that allows for their ongoing independence and well being. It may also diffuse tension in the relationship by removing the extra responsibility.
If being a human hearing aid sounds like your situation, solutions are available. You can make an appointment at any of our Beltone Hearing Care Centre locations for a hearing test. Our friendly staff can share the results with your family doctor, and provide you with a free in- office demonstration. Call today to book your hearing test.