Hearing loss is something that affects many families; half of Americans 75 years of age and older have serious hearing difficulties. If you have an elderly family member who's exhibiting signs of hearing loss, such as repeatedly asking people to repeat themselves or giving answers that aren't in alignment with the conversation, you can play a helpful role in getting the person to a hearing specialist for a test. The hearing specialist can then provide one or two hearing aids for the person, which can dramatically restore his or her quality of life. When dealing with a family member with this issue, it's important to avoid getting frustrated. Instead, here's what to do. 

Wait Until The Right Time To Talk

Bringing up your family member's hearing struggles in front of other people can make the person feel embarrassed, which will likely end your conversation prematurely. If you want your words to get through, it's ideal to find -- or make -- the right time to talk. Oftentimes, this means getting the person alone or with his or her spouse or even scheduling a time at which you can get together to speak about this important health matter. In the right setting, you'll have a better chance of the person being receptive to your concern.

Share Your Concerns Constructively

Accusing your family member of being unable to hear won't lead to any favorable results. A gentler approach is to say that you've noticed some times at which the person has appeared to have difficulty hearing and that you're concerned he or she is being left out of valuable family moments. If you can think of an example or two to bolster your message, it can be helpful. Make it clear that you want the person to be able to hear and that you're bringing up this potentially sensitive topic out of concern and care.

Suggest The Next Step

Provided that your family member has seemed receptive to your concern, move right into suggesting the next step to take. Share the name and contact information of a hearing specialist (such as one from Waters ENT Sinus & Allergy) in your community and suggest booking an appointment for a hearing test. You can take a helpful approach by making the appointment yourself and taking the family member to the clinic. If the person is receptive to you doing so, you might also wish to sit in on the appointment to help relay any information or concerns, as well as ensure your family member doesn't feel alone during the process.