Going through stages.
Another important challenge is the psychology of grief
over lost capability and lost youth. Hearing therapists
often observe the classic stages of grief first described
by psychologist Elizabeth Kübler-Ross: denial, anger,
bargaining, depression and finally acceptance. Denial
can be triggered by the fact that, compared to other
losses that come with aging, hearing loss is invisible.
It can’t be seen in a mirror, like a receding hairline or
new wrinkles, which makes it easy to ignore at first.
Once the problem can no longer be denied, you may see
anger: at hearing care professionals, at hearing devices
themselves and at you, the caregiver. Take heart,
though: anger is actually a sign of progress. Bargaining,
the third stage, is a form of conditional acceptance that
you may see in the form of conscious postponement of
such committal steps as getting a hearing evaluation.
The fourth stage, depression, comes with a complete
realization of the condition, and it can be manifest as
hopelessness and withdrawal. This is the time when
a caregiver’s support is most important, and it is a sign
that the final and most productive stage — acceptance —
Understanding the grief process can help caregivers
see when the time is right to seek help in the form of a
hearing evaluation and hearing instruments. A person
who is still grieving over lost abilities is less likely to be
ready to do something about it than a person who has