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The Consumer Handbook on Tinnitus

Establishing a Framework for Help

Most people expect loved ones to manage their life in a responsible way so long as they are capable. This includes everything from brushing their own teeth to seeking medical treatment for problems as needs arise. So when a loved one neglects what you feel is an essential need, and it persists over a period of years, it is likely to trigger very specific emotions in you. If these emotions are not held in check, the way in which you go about offering your assistance may carry overtones of anger and frustration.

Scenario 1 is the manner and tone in which many hearing healthcare practitioners find themselves face to face when a relatively unwilling loved one is coerced into the office accompanied by a family member. This is the way not to do it.

SCENARIO 1 (during the consultation):

Hearing Healthcare Practitioner: “Now Fred, as we’ve just been discussing, you would do best if you were to get two hearing aids, one for each—”
Fred: “Two!...?”
Hearing Healthcare Practitioner: “Yes. You have equal loss of hearing in both ears. Two hearing aids will offer you tremendous benefits.”
Fred: (pauses—thinking.)
Sally: “I’m not going to lose my voice anymore shouting to you from across the room! And you still can’t hear me! And I’m tired of repeating myself constantly! I can’t do this anymore.”
Fred: “For the most part, I hear you fine.”
Sally: “You don’t. That’s why we’re here, Fred.”
Fred: “We’re here because of you.”
Sally: “Fred, I don’t have the hearing problem, you do.”
Fred: “But you’re the only one who seems to complain.”
Sally: “You won’t even go to the movies anymore because you can’t hear.”
Fred: “It’s the way they make those movies nowadays. Nobody can hear.”
Hearing Healthcare Practitioner: “Fred? Did you come in today with the hope that after testing I’d be telling you your hearing was okay?”
Fred: “Well…I…I…(reluctantly)…I was hoping so.”

Here’s the problem with this interchange. . .