You know it’s time to begin talking about hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and half of individuals over age 75 have noticeable hearing loss, getting them to accept their difficulties can be another matter altogether. Hearing often declines gradually, meaning that many people might not even realize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do recognize it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a huge step. The following guidance can help you frame your discussion to make sure it hits the right note.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
Recognize That it Won’t be One Conversation But a Process
Before having the discussion, take some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. When preparing, it’s helpful to frame this as a process rather than one conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of talks to admit to hearing loss. And that’s okay! Let the discussions proceed at their own pace. The last thing you want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re ready. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if somebody won’t wear them.
Choose Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and relaxed 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 might 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 Direct Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you concerning your hearing”. Emphasize circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a difficult time hearing tv shows or asked people to repeat themselves. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the effect of hearing issues on their everyday life. For example, “I’ve noticed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are more frail and deal with age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is often linked to a wider fear of loss of independence. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, attempt to understand his or her point of view. Let them know that you recognize how difficult this discussion can be. If the discussion begins to go south, wait until a later time.
Offer Next Steps
When both individuals cooperate you will have the most effective conversation 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. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. 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 individuals who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids
So your talks were persuasive and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t end there. Adjusting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to establish new habits. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.