There is a considerable move towards family-centred care in the broader audiology world. Involving family members as support during a hearing test makes perfect sense and has been an accepted strategy for many years, but the specifics of how to approach it remain complicated. .
The involvement of family members in the consultation and the ongoing process will not just help your customers, it should have a beneficial effect on your bottom line. It will support the purchase decision and help you to reduce cancellations, and we have designed tools within our Auditdata Measure system to make sure that happens.
The purchase decision
The decision to purchase a hearing aid is a complex one, and most customers will not decide without the input of family members. For family members to support the purchase decision, they need to understand the effects of the loss, the benefits of the treatment and the reasonable expectations of differing levels of hearing aid technology.
Hearing loss affects the entire family
An untreated hearing loss has a broader effect on the family. It affects everyone who has regular contact with the person with hearing loss. Communication problems frustrate everyone involved, and often there is frustration at what is perceived as denial. It can be difficult for people who have not experienced hearing loss to understand what their loved one is going through. Audiologists are in a unique position to help bridge that gap in understanding.
People with hearing loss want to know the why, when and how. While the person with hearing loss can recognize the impact, they often don’t understand the mechanism of the damage and why it affects them in the way it does. The family of the sufferer may not realize the frustration of being able to hear a voice but not understand what is being said, or the feeling of being isolated in a room full of loved ones. Helping the family understand the effects of hearing loss helps them to understand the issues their loved one faces.