You know it’s time to begin discussing hearing aids when your dad stops talking on the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, getting them to recognize their difficulties can be another matter entirely. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines slowly. Even if they do know it, recognizing 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 Explain to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
When planning to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing loss, you have a lot of time to consider what you will say and how the person may react. When getting ready, it’s helpful to frame this as a process as opposed to one conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to accept hearing loss. And that’s fine! Let the conversation have a natural flow. You really need to hold off until your loved one is really comfortable with the decision before going ahead. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if somebody refuses to wear them.
Find Your Moment
When your loved one is by themselves and relaxed would be the most appropriate time. If you pick a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they could feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. To make sure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively participate in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.
Take a Clear And Direct Approach
Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure pronouncements about your concerns. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to talk to you about your hearing”. Give well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, such as having trouble hearing television programs asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than focusing on your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the effect of hearing problems on their everyday life. For instance, “I’ve observed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
For older adults who are more frail and deal with age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is often associated with a wider fear of loss of independence. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, attempt to understand his or her point of view. Let them know that you understand how hard this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
When both individuals cooperate you will have the most successful discussion about hearing loss. 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. 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 issues may help people who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.
Know That The Process Doesn’t End With Hearing Aids
So your talks were persuasive 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 period. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.