Wearing hearing aids can be a challenge, even at home. As a spouse to a hearing aid wearer, your support and understanding can make their life and transition to hearing again easier. Here are some things you can do to help.
Learn about your spouse’s particular form of hearing loss and how their hearing aids can and cannot help. The best way to do that is to go with them to appointments with their hearing care professional. Not only will you learn a lot and show that you care about your spouse’s hearing health, but with both of you there it will be easier to remember all the information the hearing care professional presents. You can also find plenty of information about hearing loss on the internet to understand it better.
You and your loved one should choose a hearing solution as a team. For example, if restaurants are often too noisy to carry on a conversation, help them find a hearing aid that reduces background noise for better understanding in challenging environments. Once they have hearing aids, point out successes whenever their hearing aids help them hear better. Also, keep in mind that adapting to hearing aids poses some challenges for new wearers. Learning how to handle them and proper usage takes time, as does getting used to a world of new sounds. The more you’re willing to serve as a wearer’s personal cheerleader, the easier a time they’ll have.
Practice good communication strategies
Even the best hearing aids won’t replace the need for simple yet effective strategies to improve communication with your spouse. Some of these include:
Getting their attention before speaking.
Facing them when speaking so that they can see and hear you.
Avoiding talking to them from another room.
Turning down distracting noise like the TV, before starting the conversation.
Rephrasing what you’re saying when they don’t understand the first time around instead of repeating yourself.
Keeping a positive attitude even when communication breaks down. A sense of humor always helps.
Be an advocate for your spouse
When the occasion is appropriate, educate others about hearing loss and hearing aids. Share your success stories, and tips on how to communicate better with individuals who wear hearing aids.
Finally, the best way to support your spouse is simply to be together. Go to concerts and take walks. Share laughs and stories with friends and family. The more time and experiences you have together, the more you can celebrate all the brilliant sounds of life.
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