When your mother is always a couple of seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too tough to hear, it is time to discuss hearing aids. Even though a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and half of individuals over the age of 75 have noticeable hearing loss, getting them to accept their troubles can be another matter altogether. Hearing frequently worsens slowly, meaning that many individuals might not even recognize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. And even if they are cognizant of their hearing loss, it can be a big step having them to admit they need hearing aids. If you want to make that conversation 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
Before having the discussion, take some time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will respond. When getting ready, it’s helpful to frame this as a process as opposed to one conversation. It might take a series of conversations 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’re ready. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if somebody refuses to wear them.
Pick The Right Time
When your loved one is by themselves 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 could feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. A one-on-one talk with no background noise also ensures that your loved one hears you correctly and can take part in the conversation.
Be Clear And Direct in Your Approach
It’s best not to be vague and unclear about your worries. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you about your hearing”. Present well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having trouble hearing tv programs asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than talking about your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the impact of hearing problems on their everyday life. For instance, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time 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 more frail and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is often associated with a wider fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing impairment. Acknowledge how hard this conversation can be. If the conversation starts to go south, wait until a different time.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people cooperate you will have the most successful conversation about hearing loss. The process of getting hearing aids can be very overwhelming and that could be one reason why they are so hesitant. In order to make the journey as smooth as possible, offer to help. 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 might feel embarrassed 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 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 create new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.