You know it’s time to start discussing hearing aids when your dad stops using the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to recognize their difficulties can be another matter altogether. Hearing usually worsens little by little, meaning that many individuals might not even recognize how significantly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a big step. The following guidance can help you frame your conversation to ensure it hits the right tone.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
Before having the discussion, take the time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. When planning, it’s helpful to frame this as a process instead of one conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of conversations to admit to hearing loss. And that’s fine! Let the conversations continue at a natural pace. One thing you don’t want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. After all, hearing aids do no good if somebody won’t wear them.
Choose Your Moment
Decide on a time when your loved one is calm and alone. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them hypersensitive to any imagined attack. A one-on-one talk with no background noise also helps ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can participate in the conversation.
Be Open And Straightforward in Your Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and unclear about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Point out circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time hearing tv programs or asked people to repeat themselves. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing issues impact their day-to-day life instead of talking about 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
For older adults who are weaker and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is often associated with a broader fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize 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.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most effective discussions about hearing loss take place when both parties work together to make the right decisions. Part of your loved one’s resistance to admit to hearing loss might be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. We can also check to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people may 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 talks were compelling and your loved one has agreed to look into hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t end there. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to forget. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any concerns your family member might have with their new hearing aids.