When your mother is always a couple of seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father stops talking on the phone because it’s too tough to hear, it is time to discuss hearing aids. Even though a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of individuals over age 75 have detectable hearing loss, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing issues. Hearing frequently worsens little by little, meaning that many individuals might not even recognize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. And even if they are cognizant of their hearing loss, it can be a big step getting them to accept they need hearing aids. If you want to make that conversation easier and more successful, observe the following advice.
How to Talk About Hearing Aids With a Loved One
Recognize That it Won’t be One Conversation But a Process
Before having the conversation, take the time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. When getting ready, it’s helpful to frame this as a process instead of a single conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to accept hearing loss. There’s nothing wrong with that! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. You really need to hold off until your loved one is very comfortable with the idea before proceeding. If a person refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Find Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the best time. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them sensitive to any perceived attack. To make sure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively engage in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.
Be Clear And Straightforward in Your Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with obscure pronouncements about your concerns. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you concerning your hearing”. Provide clear examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having a hard time following tv programs asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems effect their daily life rather than emphasizing their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve observed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing problem might be the reason for that”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
For older adults who are weaker and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is often linked to a wider fear of loss of independence. If your loved one is unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the issues, attempt 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.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most effective discussions about hearing loss occur when both people work together to make the right decisions. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of purchasing hearing aids. Offer your assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible. Print out and rehearse before you talk. You can also give us a call to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Some people might feel self-conscious about needing hearing aids so letting them know that hearing loss is more common than they think.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your talks were compelling and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. Adjusting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to care for, and perhaps some old habits to unlearn. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.