Last week we wrote about why some people might be hesitant to get their hearing tested. This week we want to address what we can do about it.
A few questions some might be asking themselves:
- What’s the best approach to education?
- What are some paths already in place that can help spread the word?
- If a loved one, a friend, or acquaintance with hearing is reluctant to get tested, what’s a good way to let them know the benefits of a hearing aid?
Let’s go last question first. Why might approaching a love one with hearing loss be hard?
How To Let A Person With Hearing Loss Know
We covered a lot of this last week, but one thing we didn’t get into: a lot of people might not feel it’s their place to call out what appears to be a hearing problem in another. If you suspect hearing loss in a friend, or family member, or student, approaching the situation tactfully might seem pretty daunting.
Start small and work up. Consider last week’s blog. Remind people that hearing is vital to overall health, wellness, and cognitive function as one ages. Maybe even compare taking care of hearing health to going to the gym.
If you’re a teacher or educator, appealing to administration or parents might be the best route. If a friend, maybe you know someone who already has a hearing aid. Relating their story may be more persuasive than you’d think. If family, try researching the benefits of hearing devices with your loved one to simply “see what they offer.”
How To Educate as Many People as Possible
We live in the age of social media. People are sharing their stories more now than ever. Sharing a personal story could help convince others to seek out an audiologist.
Some good resources:
- Phonak’s Hearing Like Me and Oticon’s Healthy Hearing have accessible, story oriented blogs about hearing loss.
- For more technical, industry blogs, consider the ASHA leader and ASHA leader blog
Are There Any Existing Programs In Place That Can Help Spread the Word?
It’s tough going this alone. The American Speech-Lanauage Hearing Association has a list of organizations who themselves all list resources for help.
Some organizations of note:
- American Society for Deaf Children
- Association of Late Deafened Adults
- National Association of the Deaf (civil rights assocation for the hard of hearing) (8)
- American Cochlear Implant Alliance (for options outside the scope of hearing aids) (9)
All these organizations have links, research, and resources, and most offer ideas about how to reach and educate as many people as possible about the effects – personal, emotional, and social – of hearing loss.
Next week we’ll take a step back and describe in detail what a single hearing test can offer those who need hearing help.