Experience helping a family member who needs help with hearing

This person has communication problems, but has edit: she was accused of not hearing well. She had her hearing tested, and was assured it was fine.

I offered a suggestion that she might find this book interesting.

HEAR & BEYOND Live skillfully with Hearing Loss. SHARI EBERTS and GAEL HANNAN

I said that reading this book was life saving for me. I appreciate learning about it here.

The explanation didn’t go over well. Others said she didn’t need help.

What would you have done? I failed in my attempt.

If I’m tempted to give unsolicited advice, I try to remember to ask the person if they would be interested in hearing it. I don’t always remember, but the response I get sometimes serves as a reminder.


The person I spoke to was interested and responded. Other family members bullied her saying her hearing was fine. Her husband confirmed that she ignored him yet her hearing was fine confirmed by her hearing test.

Thanks for your response. It helped.

1 Like

The experience made me realize how little I know about being hard of hearing. And how little I know about what can be done to improve communication.

I’m anxious to learn more.

Dealing with a group with various, often conflicting interests is especially challenging. Probably why I’ve always preferred one on one conversations.

1 Like

I think the group is dysfunctional; I think they feel I’m dysfunctional.

Think I’m just too darn old.


I think you had a “no win” situation. Although it’s difficult to curb the impulse to be helpful, I try to think how things might play out before I “leap.”

1 Like

What sort of communication problems?

1 Like

Thanks for asking Neville,

Communication problem…
She was told she didn’t hear well by her husband. So she had her hearing checked. She was told the test confirmed that she hears very well. Yet there were instances during dinner for six that she clearly didn’t hear what was going on. I spoke up after one of those.

I recommended she read “Hear & Beyond, Live Skillfully with Hearing Loss” because it helped me so much. Everyone chimed in suggesting she’s fine and pretty much shut me down.

My thought…I’m told it takes our brain a long time to adapt to hearing aids. Is there a mental component of “hearing”?


1 Like

I have seen the family dynamic where members just assume the person is being lazy or inattentive. Maybe they lack some focus and the family gets annoyed. With all the frustration, It’s easier to make an assumption rather than be kind and consider there might be another issue. Don’t know if that is what is going on, but to me, no harm no foul by offering a suggestion. Agree it’s wise to ask first, but really, many of us don’t follow that in daily interactions with people we l ow well. It just flows. Do you know if she got a booth test from an AuD, or did her doctor just do an in office test?


I understand that she went to an audiologist.

If she asks for help I’ll be glad to…but otherwise I’m going to let it slide. I offered…



This might be a slow burn situation. You’ve planted a seed- whether it becomes anything is outside your control.

Some ppl find a suggestion that they may be suffering a hearing loss as a criticism, rather than a helpful observation. Also, it may be that your attempt at helping may have been construed as a pile-on, rather than a proof that other ppl are experiencing situations where the person is exhibiting a hearing issue.

One does what one can, then leaves it alone lest it be construed in a negative light…


She actually started the conversation. i’ll let it be, until she talks again.

Frankly I have trouble figuring out how to improve my own experience. Two steps ahead, one back.



I see where the others are coming from in regards to not offering unwelcome advice.

But if this is a situation where she experience functional difficulty that others are dismissing because her hearing is “normal”, I’d think she should be supported. She could consider getting an auditory processing assessment. If she’s in Toronto, I might try HearSay Speech and Hearing.

Auditory processing issues can be something someone is born with that goes undiagnosed, they can occur subsequent to concussion/head trauma or certain illnesses.

I would not be terribly shocked if someone told me they developed auditory processing issues from covid, though research is surely lacking.

You can definitely have normal hearing and speech in noise deficits. The most interesting case I saw had -10 dB thresholds across the board but needed a 20dB (!!) Signal to noise ratio to understand speech in babble clearly.


OK. That is a sticky wickett for ya! There may be more going on here with the family dynamics than you’ll know or care to find out about.

Has anyone else seen the gal’s audiogram to verify that her hearing is “very well” as tested? I’m just askin’ …

Sometimes folks either bully, ignore, cover up or confront health issues with family members. You tried to share valuable advice, and it likely fell on a brick. You’ve done what you can. So relax, LET GO and let Fate take that couple down their designated path. It’s out of your hands.

You don’t apear dysfunctional at all to me, having read your posts on the board here, so just push that nonsense right away. And yes, there is a HUGE “mental component” to hearing. That is exactly why folks who need aids and don’t get them trundle down the path to dementia.


That is a very thought-provoking observation!!! I also would not be surprised to learn that, but sadly, there’s only so much (or little) research being done on the post-covid and long covid cases.


Thanks Neville & 1Bluejay!

Much appreciated. Yes there are family dynamics. I won’t talk about those here.

Comment about long covid is interesting. She had covid.

Neville I appreciate your suggestion: Hearsay Speech & Hearing. I’ll keep them in mind.

For now, she can ask for help & I’ll help.

Take care.


1 Like

Did she get tested for speech-in-noise? There are 26 million people in the US with perfect audiograms who cannot hear in noise (according to Doug Beck, formerly of Oticon). Many undoubtedly were told their hearing is fine. Your gathering of 6 people could possibly have been too noisy for her. The World Health Organization has a HearWHO app that is a quick and easy “digits in noise” test that she could take.

1 Like

Thanks! I don’t know.

I’ve had my hearing tested a number of times in 20+ years. I don’t know if i’ve been tested for speech-in-noise. I do know it ’ s a huge problem for me in real life.


Thanks for your suggestion!!

1 Like

Excellent point. It sounds like the family felt uncomfortable with the idea of hearing loss, and didn’t want to learn about it. Maybe she’ll think about it…