You know it’s time to start talking over hearing aids when your dad stops talking on the phone because he has a difficult 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 recognize their troubles can be another matter entirely. Hearing usually worsens little by little, meaning that many individuals might not even recognize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. And even if they are aware of their hearing loss, it can be a big step getting them to acknowledge they need hearing aids. If you want to make that discussion easier and more successful, observe the following guidance.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
Recognize That it Won’t be One Conversation But a Process
When planning to have a conversation about a family member’s hearing loss, you have lots of time to consider what you will say and how the person may react. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not a single conversation. It might take a series of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to admit they have a hearing problem. And that’s okay! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. One thing you don’t want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are ready. After all, hearing aids do no good if someone refuses to wear them.
Pick The Right Time
Decide on a time when your loved one is relaxed and alone. Holidays or large get-togethers can be demanding and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them sensitive to any perceived attack. A one-on-one conversation with no background noise also helps ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can engage in the conversation.
Be Clear And Straightforward in Your Approach
Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your worries. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you concerning your hearing”. Present clear examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, like having trouble following tv programs asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the impact of hearing issues on their everyday life. 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?”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is often associated with a wider fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and try to understand where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Let them know that you recognize how hard this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
The most successful conversations about hearing loss take place when both parties work together to make the right decisions. The process of buying hearing aids can be really overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people may feel embarrassed 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 agreed to see us and get hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to care for, and perhaps some old habits to unlearn. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.