Friday, June 22, 2012

What to do when someone resists using hearing aids

Often times we are asked how to help someone who resists hearing aids to take action. This can be difficult situation to address. 

When someone with hearing loss resists using hearing aids, it lays the burden of communication on others.  As a result people learn to speak up, repeat and even translate for the person with hearing loss.  This typically happens just as you report, through a lack of awareness of what they don’t hear and of how others compensate for them.  It usually is not done intentionally. 

The trick is helping them to see how others are compensating for the hearing loss.  It’s tricky because it needs to be done a caring manner.  Otherwise, it will push them further away from receiving needed treatment.  Have an honest caring talk. Here are a few things to discuss.
  • -          Let them know you are concerned about them just as you would with other health issue.
  • -          Discuss the overall health effects including the emotional impact of untreated hearing loss.
  • -          Let them know how you compensate for the hearing loss.
  • -          Share your feelings about carrying the burden of communication.
  • -          Come to agreement that for a week, you will point out every time you repeat something.  Have a code word you use just before you repeat the information or question to signal to her that you compensating for the hearing loss.
  • -          Also for the week, don’t translate information. For example, when at a restaurant don’t automatically repeat the specials. This will help them realize what was missed the first time.
  • -          After the week have talk about how it went.
Above all, be positive and encouraging.  Hearing aids can and do help.  They are discreet and comfortable.  Go to to learn more.  

Life Sounds Great!  Enjoy Every Moment!

Jane Kukula, AuD
Paula Webster, MA
Advanced Audiology Concepts
8897 Mentor Ave
Mentor, Ohio 44060

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