Do You Love Somebody With Hearing Loss?

Advertisements

Do you love somebody with hearing loss? With 50 million Americans suffering from hearing loss, I bet most people do. What can you do to show your affection for them this Valentine’s Day and every day in between. It starts with acceptance, support and understanding. But most importantly love.

Hearing loss is just one part of somebody, not their entirety. Remember to keep the hearing loss in perspective, acknowledge and accommodate for it, but don’t let it be the center of attention. The person should be.

When someone has hearing loss, friends and family are also affected. Communication patterns are altered, new technologies must be learned, and everyone must adjust to the frustrations and comedy of mishearings. Sometimes friends and family members don’t know what they can do to support us.

Share this simple poem with them as a guide.

How to LOVE Somebody With Hearing Loss

L

Listen and respond to his needs. Work to understand how you can help the person to hear his best. This might mean turning the music down or keeping the lights up. Ask him what he needs and he will tell you.

O

Open your mind to communication best practices. Always face the person when speaking and get his attention first. Provide context and be prepared to repeat or rephrase difficult words. See my detailed communication tips here.

V

Value the whole person. See the full person, not just the hearing loss. Accommodate and adjust, but also enjoy the personal relationship you two share. People are much more than their challenges.

E

Embrace the hearing loss. Make it a normal part of the relationship, not a shameful secret. Accept the challenges and the necessary workarounds, but don’t forget to laugh at the inevitable mistakes. Some are a riot.

Readers, how do you love somebody with hearing loss?

Living With Hearing Loss is also on Facebook and Twitter

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

12 thoughts on “Do You Love Somebody With Hearing Loss?”

  1. Thank you for sharing this wonderful article for Valentine’s Day! All anyone ever really needs is love and understanding and patience. We all will endure many hardships and sufferings, but just showing someone compassion and love can mean the world them.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Absolutely. Thanks for your comment.

  2. I love more than one. I remember that it’s much harder for the person who suffers from this, than anyone else. I also think about how I would want to be treated if/when.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Good advice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Rena McDaniel – South Carolina – Hi! I'm Rena! Pronounced /`ree-nuh/. I'm a 49-year-old wife, mom, grandmother, & tech nerd who loves to design WordPress websites and graphics that help midlife women build an online business that will give the lifestyle and financial freedom we all crave. #WordPress is my wine #theblogging911
    Rena says:

    I never thought of this because neither my husband and I have hearing damage, but my mom and granddaughter do.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  4. I feel very fortunate. My family and close friends are all doing their best to follow tips I have shared previously from your bulletins. (thank you) They are not shy at requesting quieter circular tables when booking a meal out. No one objects to subtitles on TV. Okay they do forget at times ~ but even I (who should definitely know better) shout to them from another room/mumble etc

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Sounds like you have a great support network. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  5. Married to a Pastor.Com and GodsyGirl.Com – Missouri – Hi! I'm a wife, mom and Christian who is married to a dynamic pastor! My life is a journey and quite an adventure, but I wouldn't change a thing! Please visit me at www.marriedtoapastor.com and GodsyGirl.Com!
    godsygirlpastorwives says:

    I’m so glad I read this. My mom and I almost bicker about her getting some hearing aid. It’s become sensitive and it’s largely my fault. You’re last part really made me think and be a bit remorseful about nagging her so.

    As a result, I’m committed to change my responses to her hearing loss and not beg her to let me purchase a solution for her. Hope I don’t sound like a jerky daughter. I just love her and want to bless her life as much as I can because she has blessed mine. Sometimes, I work too hard to meet her needs than to respect her dignity. Ok. Going to cry now…but, a good cry of revelation. Thanks again!

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      So glad the post resonated with you. I do hope she will try hearing aids though at some point. They made a huge difference for me.

  6. I think I’ve mentioned to you before that my husband has partial hearing loss. He’s at the stage where he can make jokes about it. There’s an elective surgery he can have but there’s only like a 70% success rate and the other 30% is complete hearing loss! So he’s likely not going to follow through with it because he is okay right now.

    1. Shari Eberts – NYC – Shari Eberts is a hearing health advocate, writer, speaker and avid Bikram yogi. She blogs at LivingWithHearingLoss.com and serves on the Board of Trustees of Hearing Loss Association of America. She is the former Board Chair of Hearing Health Foundation. Shari has an adult-onset genetic hearing loss and hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others to live more peacefully with their own hearing issues.
      Shari Eberts says:

      Yes. I am glad he is doing well. Thanks for your comment.

Leave a Reply