When you find out a loved one has hearing problems in Salinas, your first instinct will be to want to understand what the problem is, how they can communicate with you and what you can do to help. While all these sentiments have good intentions behind them, they can sometimes be insulting or hurtful if not expressed in a sensitive way. Each person with hearing problems in Salinas is different, of course, so what is hurtful to one person might be no big deal to another.
This being said, there is always a more thoughtful way to ask something. To that end, here are three sets of questions, each expressed in the “right” and “wrong” way.
Can you hear me now?
The intention of wanting to make sure your loved one is in on the conversation is a good one. But asking in such a blunt way might be construed as condescending, especially if you ask it in an overly loud voice. And if your loved one has recently developed these hearing problems, it could be an unwelcome reminder of what they are missing out on.
Will you let me know if you are having trouble hearing me?
Posing the question this way instead is ideal, as it expresses the same positive intentions while also giving the deaf or hard of hearing person agency over the situation. Rather than feeling like a burden or freak, the person with hearing problems has control over when and how their difficult hearing will be expressed.
Can I see your hearing aid?
Some people are fascinated by their hearing aids, and are eager to show others how they work. But a hearing aid is not a toy, and asking a deaf or hard of hearing person if you can inspect it might put them in the uncomfortable position of having to deny you, or allowing you to play with it just for the sake of politeness.
How does your hearing aid work?
Again, the open-ended nature of this question is key. You are expressing interest in your loved one’s hearing aid, but in a more polite way that gives them the power to decide how much to explain to you, and whether or not they want to actually take it off and show it to you.
How do you deal with not being able to hear?
First of all, depending on whether your loved one is deaf, hard of hearing or just experiencing the beginnings of hearing problems, this question might not even be accurate. And even if it is, framing it in this way implies that their experience is somehow “less than” or inferior to others’ daily lives.
What has this experience been like for you?
This more sensitive version of the above question still expresses your interest, but it widens the nature of it, and it does not “other”-ize deaf and hard of hearing people quite as much. Rather than focusing on the negative, it allows for a more wide-ranging discussion, and your loved one gets to hold the reins.
If you have a loved one with hearing problems in Salinas who is looking for help with hearing technology, we hope you will refer them to Valley Hearing Center.
Categorised in: Hearing Problems
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