When your mother is always several seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too hard to hear, it’s time to talk about hearing aids. Even though hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing problems. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines little by little. And even if they are cognizant of their hearing loss, it can be a big step having them to accept they need hearing aids. The following guidance can help you frame your discussion to make sure it hits the right tone.
How to Explain to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
Recognize That it Won’t be One Conversation But a Process
When preparing to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to consider what you will say and how the person might react. When planning, it’s helpful to frame this as a process instead of one conversation. It might take a number of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to admit they have a hearing problem. There’s nothing wrong with that! Let the discussions proceed at a natural pace. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are 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 alone and calm would be the best time. Holidays or large get-togethers can be demanding and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them sensitive to any imagined attack. A one-on-one conversation 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 is not the time to beat around the bush with vague pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Provide well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, such as having a hard time hearing television programs asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day-to-day life instead of emphasizing their hearing itself. You could say something like “You aren’t going out with your friends as much these days, could that be because you have a difficult time hearing them?”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing impairment frequently corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults dealing with physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and try to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing loss. Acknowledge how difficult this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
The most effective discussions about hearing loss take place when both parties work together to take the next steps. The process of getting hearing aids can be really overwhelming and that may be one reason why they are so hesitant. In order to 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 might feel self-conscious 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 agreed to consult us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t stop there. Adjusting 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. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.