Hearing loss is devastating, yet it’s something an astounding 48 million Americans experience to some degree. Worse, while some hearing issues can be hereditary, many arise over time due to aging, infection, or even exposure to excessively loud sounds. And, when problems do arise, adjustment can be a challenge.
Not only do you have to get used to a whole new lifestyle, but you may find that your job or hobbies are suddenly out of reach. Worse, your family could well struggle to understand the change, leading to relationship strains when you need support the most.
The trouble is that your family can’t hear as you do, so kids especially may struggle to understand what’s happened. Even your partner may find it difficult to communicate. This can lead to isolation on both sides and, to ensure you can avoid it, we’ve put together a few steps you can take to overcome hearing loss as a family unit.
Learn sign language together
Learning sign language as a family is, by far, the best thing you can do. In general, knowledge of how to communicate in new ways can work wonders for improving your confidence despite the knock it’s received. Having your family alongside you also means that you needn’t worry about miscommunications or a growing inability to interact. Even better, you should find that sign language classes are a lot of fun and help you bond over this shared experience. At last, the distraction of a joint goal will undoubtedly put an end to any bickering or resentment that could otherwise simmer under the surface.
Provide your family with the right resources
While you might have done all the research possible into your hearing issue, there’s no telling whether your family has done the same. Kids, especially, are unlikely to make this effort off their own backs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to know this stuff. The more everyone understands about what’s going on, after all, the more patience and acceptance you can all bring to the situation. So, don’t hesitate to provide your loved ones with a few vital web resources that outline what’s happening, or even work to help family members learn more about communicating through body language and so on. You can bet that, as soon as they see this stuff in writing, they start to go the extra mile.
Talk about your fears
While you might want to stay positive, it’s also worth accepting that your family likely shares many of your concerns about this new health development. Yet, in an attempt to help you stay strong, they may put a brave face on things at all times. That’s yet another barrier that none of you need, so tear it down. Be honest about your fears and worries and encourage your family to do the same. You may just find that, by talking things through, you’re able to put each other at ease to become the strong family unit you should have been all along.