Our hearing loss impacts on our whole family and yet, many of us go to our audiology appointments alone. However, some hearing care professionals are now encouraging family members to come along to appointments. This approach is known as ‘family-centered care’.
I’ve involved my husband in my audiologist appointments in the past and have found it very useful.
A partner, daughter or son may be able to give a greater insight into the communication needs of the family when speaking with an audiologist. Due to our hearing loss, we may be missing more communication and sounds than we realize. A relative could alert the audiologist to this, which is something we wouldn’t be able to do ourselves.
“A relative could alert the audiologist to this – something we wouldn’t be able to do ourselves.”
For example, I may not have realized that over time I have started to have the volume on the television higher than what is comfortable for the rest of the family.
Having my husband explain this to the audiologist makes the audiologist more aware of what my hearing is like in different situations. This means they would be able to look at a range of solutions to this problem.
The audiologist might then make a few recommends. This may include adding a separate program to my aids for watching television or using a remote control to adjust the volume of the hearing aids.
The benefit to me, of my husband explaining this previously ‘hidden’ problem, would be a better hearing experience while watching television. It would benefit my husband because he would be more comfortable while watching TV. The benefit to the audiologist is that they would better understand my hearing needs than if I had attended the appointment alone.
Research shows that family members may have a key role to play in decisions made by adults with hearing loss. For the audiologist, they may provide an important perspective on the personal, interpersonal, social aspects of the hearing loss. On the whole family, thus raising issues of which the person with hearing loss may not be aware.
“…family members may have a key role to play in decisions made by adults with hearing loss.”
Consider bringing your loved ones to your next audiology appointment and see how it affects your hearing journey!
We’d love to hear from you about your experiences of family-centered care, or your thoughts on involving family members in the hearing care process. Do you have great family support? Would you appreciate more involvement from your family? Has your family’s reaction to your hearing loss encouraged or discouraged you from using hearing aids? Please post a comment or add a post to our Facebook page.