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Talking about hearing loss with loved ones

An illustration of four people around a dinner table, eating, talking and smiling. Behind them is a Christmas tree, and by them is a dog waiting to be fed some scraps. The two men are wearing Christmas cracker hats.

The Christmas season is a special time when lots of families and friends come together. However, it can also be when we notice changes in the health of our loved ones, such as an older family member’s hearing loss. 

We know that talking to loved ones about their hearing loss, and supporting their first steps in addressing it, can feel daunting. We’ve put together some top tips on how to have this conversation.

Our three tips for starting a conversation about hearing loss 

With the expert help of family psychotherapist Dr Annette Wilson, we’ve put together these tips for having impactful conversations about hearing loss this Christmas. 

1. Choose the right time

Start the conversation at a relaxed moment – this isn’t one to start over dinner! Instead, pick a time when people are calm and not under stress, such as when you’re having a relaxed cuppa or out on a walk. 

2. Tell them how simple the hearing check is

Rather than mentioning your concerns for their hearing health, start light by emphasising how simple it is to check your hearing with RNID’s hearing check.

3. Consider taking the hearing check yourself first

This way, you can talk about it from your own experience. Or, why not do the check along with your loved one? Find the check below.

Want to come back to this later?

Not everyone will be ready to take action on their hearing health straight away. Changes to our hearing health can at first feel scary to acknowledge.

If a loved one doesn’t want to do the test right now, come back to it at another time. We can email you a reminder – and our top tips from above – to help you have this conversation again. 

If you want more advice and information about how to approach these conversations with your loved ones, you can read Dr Wilson’s blog.

Take the RNID hearing check

Illustration of a man wearing headphones and holding a mobile phone

Take the hearing check with a loved one

Help a loved one take the RNID hearing check in just 3 minutes. All you’ll need is a quiet space and some headphones.
Take the hearing check

After taking the hearing check

Once your loved one takes the test, we will send them all the information and advice they need for their next steps, whatever the result. They can get in touch with our support line, Contact RNID, if they have any further questions.

Remember, changes to your hearing can be upsetting. By being patient and offering your loved one easy opportunities to talk about it, you can help support them on their hearing journey. 

Stories from the community

Sharing lived experience

Many families who have addressed a loved one’s hearing health have found the support and healthcare their loved one needed. Read some of their stories here.
Read stories from the community

More about hearing loss

Page last updated: 8 December 2023