You know it’s time to begin talking over hearing aids when your dad stops using the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, getting them to acknowledge their challenges can be another matter altogether. Most people won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it declines little by little. Even if they do know it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a huge step. If you want to make that discussion easier and more productive, 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 conversation, take the time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will react. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to admit to hearing loss. There’s nothing wrong with that! Let the discussions proceed at their own pace. You really need to wait until your loved one is really comfortable with the decision before proceeding. If a person refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Pick The Right Time
Pick a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them hypersensitive to any perceived attack. 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 plan.
Be Open And Direct in Your Approach
It’s best not to be vague and ambiguous about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Emphasize situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time following tv programs or asked people to repeat themselves. Rather than focusing on your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the impact of hearing problems on their day to day life. For example, “I’ve observed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing problem might be the reason for that”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
Hearing loss often 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 impairment. Let them know that you recognize how hard this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
When both people cooperate you will have the most effective discussion about hearing impairment. The process of buying hearing aids can be really 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 talk, print out our information. You can also give us a call to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems may help people who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your talks were persuasive and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.