When your mother is always a couple of seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father stops talking on the phone because it’s too hard to hear, it is time to talk about hearing aids. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to accept their hearing problems. Hearing often worsens slowly, meaning that many individuals might not even realize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. Even if they do recognize it, recognizing that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that conversation easier and more successful, observe the following advice.
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 some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will respond. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of talks to accept hearing loss. There’s nothing wrong with that! Let the discussions continue at their own pace. You really need to hold off until your loved one is really comfortable with the decision before proceeding. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if someone refuses to wear them.
Pick The Right Time
When your loved one is by themselves and calm would be the most appropriate time. Holidays or large get-togethers can be demanding and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them hypersensitive to any perceived 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.
Be Open And Straightforward in Your Approach
Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with vague pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Present clear examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, such as having trouble following tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing issues effect their daily life rather than focusing on 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 difficult time hearing them?”.
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 broader fear of loss of independence. 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. Acknowledge how hard this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people work together you will have the most successful discussion about hearing impairment. The process of getting hearing aids can be really overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people might 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 decided to see us and get 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 create new habits. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.