You know it’s time to start talking over hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and 50% of people over 75, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing issues. Hearing usually worsens gradually, meaning that many people might not even realize how significantly their everyday hearing has changed. And even if they are cognizant of their hearing loss, it can be a big step having them to accept they need hearing aids. If you want to make that discussion easier and more productive, observe the following guidance.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
When preparing to have a conversation about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to consider what you will say and how the person may respond. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of talks to admit to hearing loss. And that’s okay! Let the discussions continue at their own pace. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re ready. If a person won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Find Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and calm would be the best time. If you go with a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they could feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. To ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively take part in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
It’s best not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you concerning your hearing”. Offer well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, like having difficulty following television shows asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their daily life rather than talking about their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve observed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue has something to do with that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and face age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is frequently associated with a wider fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and try to understand where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing loss. Let them know that you understand how difficult this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both individuals work together you will have the most successful discussion about hearing impairment. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of getting hearing aids. Provide your assistance to make the change as smooth as you can. Before you talk, print out our information. You can also give us a call to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems might help people who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing loss.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one decided to see us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t stop there. Adapting to life with hearing aids takes time. Your loved one has to deal with a new device, new sounds and has to develop new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.