You know it’s time to begin talking over hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and half of people over age 75 have noticeable hearing loss, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to accept their hearing problems. Most individuals won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it worsens little by little. Even if they do know it, admitting that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that conversation easier and more productive, observe the following advice.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
Before having the conversation, take the time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will respond. When planning, it’s helpful to frame this as a process rather than a single conversation. It may take a number of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they have a hearing problem. There’s nothing wrong with that! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. One thing you don’t 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 somebody refuses to wear them.
Find Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and calm would be the most appropriate time. If you choose a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss 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 engage in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best idea.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Offer well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having difficulty following tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day-to-day life rather than focusing on 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 problem might be the reason for that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and deal with age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is frequently associated with a broader fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to understand where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing impairment. Let them know that you understand how hard this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
When both people work together you will have the most successful discussion about hearing impairment. The process of getting hearing aids can be extremely overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so hesitant. So that you can make the process 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 might help individuals who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your talks were convincing and your loved one has agreed to consider hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. Adjusting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to create new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any concerns your family member may have with their new hearing aids.