You know it’s time to begin discussing hearing aids when your dad stops talking on the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Even though hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, getting them to accept their challenges can be another matter entirely. Most individuals won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it worsens slowly. Even if they do recognize it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a big step. 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
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
Before having the discussion, take the time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will respond. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not a single conversation. It may take a number of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to admit they have a hearing issue. There’s nothing wrong with that! Let the conversation have a natural flow. You really need to wait until your loved one is very comfortable with the decision before going ahead. 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 most appropriate time. Holidays or large gatherings can be demanding and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them hypersensitive to any imagined attack. A one-on-one talk with no background noise also ensures that your loved one hears you correctly and can engage in the conversation.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with vague pronouncements about your concerns. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to talk to you about your hearing”. Point out situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time following tv shows or asked people to repeat what they said. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing issues impact their daily 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 hard time hearing them?”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
For older adults who are weaker and face age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is often linked to a wider fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to understand 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 begins to go south, wait until a different time.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most effective conversations about hearing loss happen when both people work together to take the next steps. Part of your loved one’s resistance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. In order to make the journey as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you talk, print out our information. You can also give us a call to see if we take your loved one’s insurance. 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 End With Hearing Aids
So your loved one decided to consult us and get hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. Adapting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to take care of, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. Be an advocate during this adjustment period. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.