You know it’s time to start discussing hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over age 75 have detectable hearing loss, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to recognize their hearing problems. Hearing often worsens little by little, meaning that many individuals may not even recognize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, admitting that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that discussion easier and more successful, observe the following guidance.
How to Consider Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
Before having the conversation, take some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not one discussion. It might take a series of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to accept they’re suffering from a hearing problem. There isn’t anything wrong with that! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. The last thing you want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. If a person won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Choose Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the most appropriate time. If you choose a time when other people are around you might 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 idea.
Take a Clear And Direct Approach
It’s best not to be vague and ambiguous about your worries. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to talk to you about your hearing”. Mention circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time following tv programs or asked people to repeat themselves. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing issues impact their day-to-day life instead of talking about their hearing itself. You could say something like “You aren’t going out with your friends as much anymore, could that be because you have a difficult time hearing them?”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
Hearing impairment often corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults dealing with physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, try to understand where he or she is coming from. Acknowledge how difficult this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
When both people cooperate you will have the most successful discussion about hearing loss. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss might be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of purchasing hearing aids. Provide your assistance to make the transition as smooth as you can. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people may feel self-conscious about needing hearing aids so letting them know that hearing loss is more common than they think.
Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids
So your loved one decided to consult us and get hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to create new habits. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.