You know it’s time to begin talking about hearing aids when your dad quits using the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Even though hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to acknowledge their challenges can be another matter altogether. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines little by little. 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 conversation easier and more productive, observe the following advice.
How to Explain to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
When preparing to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing loss, you have lots of time to think about what you will say and how the person may respond. When preparing, it’s helpful to frame this as a process as opposed to one conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of conversations to acknowledge hearing loss. And that’s fine! Let the conversations proceed at their own pace. One thing you don’t want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re prepared. If a person refuses to use their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Choose Your Moment
Choose a time when your loved one is relaxed and alone. If you pick a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems and they might feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. 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 Open And Direct in Your Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with obscure pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Give clear examples of symptoms you’ve observed, like having a hard time following television programs asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems effect their daily life instead of talking about their hearing itself. You could say something like “You don’t seem to go out with your friends as much anymore, could that be because you have a hard time hearing them?”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
Hearing loss frequently corresponds to a broader fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing loss. Acknowledge how hard this discussion can be. If the conversation starts to go south, table it until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both individuals cooperate you will have the most successful discussion about hearing impairment. The process of purchasing hearing aids can be very daunting and that may 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. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Information about the commonness of hearing issues might help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.
Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids
So your talks were convincing and your loved one has agreed to consider hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to take care of, and perhaps some old habits to forget. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any issues your family member may have with their new hearing aids.