When your mother is always several seconds too late to react to the punchline of a joke or your father stops talking on the phone because it’s too difficult to hear, it’s time to discuss hearing aids. Even though a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over the age of 75 have noticeable hearing loss, getting them to acknowledge their difficulties can be another matter entirely. Most individuals won’t even detect how much their hearing has changed because it worsens slowly. Even if they do recognize it, admitting that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that conversation easier and more successful, observe the following guidance.
How to Explain to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
When preparing to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing loss, you have lots of time to think about what you will say and how the person might react. When preparing, it’s recommended to frame this as a process as opposed to a single conversation. It might take a series of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they have a hearing problem. And that’s okay! Let the conversations proceed at their own pace. You really need to wait until your loved one is very comfortable with the decision before proceeding. If somebody refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Pick The Appropriate Time
Decide on a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. Holidays or large gatherings can be demanding and might draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, 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 isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Offer clear examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, like having trouble following tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than focusing on your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the effect of hearing issues on their everyday life. 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 often corresponds to a broader fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, try to understand where he or she is coming from. Acknowledge how hard this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
The most effective conversations about hearing loss take place when both people work together to take the next steps. The process of getting hearing aids can be very daunting and that could be one reason why they are so reluctant. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, offer to help. Print out and rehearse before you talk. You can also give us a call to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing issues may help people who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing problems.
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 end there. Adjusting to life with hearing aids takes time. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.