You know it’s time to start discussing hearing aids when your dad quits using the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Even though hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to accept their hearing issues. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it worsens gradually. And even if they are aware 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 successful, observe the following guidance.
How to Discuss Hearing Aids With a Loved One
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
Before having the conversation, take the time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. When getting ready, it’s recommended to frame this as a process as opposed to one conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to admit to hearing loss. There’s nothing wrong with that! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. You really need to hold off until your loved one is really comfortable with the decision before going ahead. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if somebody won’t wear them.
Find Your Moment
Pick a time when your loved one is relaxed and alone. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them hypersensitive to any perceived attack. 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.
Be Clear And Direct in Your Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and unclear about your worries. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to talk to you about your hearing”. Mention situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time following tv shows or asked people to repeat what they said. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems effect their daily life instead of emphasizing 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 hard time hearing them?”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing impairment often corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults dealing with physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, try to understand where he or she is coming from. Let them know that you recognize how difficult this discussion can be. If the conversation begins to go south, wait until a different time.
Offer Next Steps
When both individuals work together you will have the most effective conversation about hearing loss. Part of your loved one’s resistance to admit to hearing loss might 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 have that conversation, print out our information. You can also call us to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Some people may feel self-conscious about needing hearing aids so letting them know that hearing loss is more common than they think.
Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one consented to consult us and get hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t end there. Adapting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to forget. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any concerns your family member may have with their new hearing aids.