You know it’s time to begin talking over hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to recognize their difficulties can be another matter entirely. Most individuals won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines slowly. 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 discussion easier and more successful, observe the following advice.
How to Discuss Hearing Aids With a Loved One
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
Before having the discussion, take some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not one conversation. It may take a series 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 conversations continue at a natural pace. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re ready. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if someone won’t wear them.
Choose Your Moment
Pick a time when your loved one is calm and alone. 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 conversation with no background noise also ensures that your loved one hears you correctly and can take part in the conversation.
Be Clear And Direct in Your Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and ambiguous about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Mention circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time following tv shows or asked people to repeat themselves. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing issues impact their daily life rather than emphasizing their hearing itself. For instance, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing impairment frequently corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, attempt to understand his or her point of view. Acknowledge how difficult this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people cooperate you will have the most effective conversation about hearing loss. The process of getting hearing aids can be really overwhelming and that may be one reason why they are so reluctant. Provide your assistance to make the change as smooth as possible. Print out and rehearse before you talk. You can also give us a call to see if we take your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing loss.
Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one consented 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 care for, and perhaps some old habits to forget. Be an advocate during this adjustment period. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.