You know it’s time to begin discussing hearing aids when your dad stops using the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Even though hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to recognize their challenges can be another matter altogether. Most individuals won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines little by little. Even if they do recognize it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that discussion easier and more successful, observe the following guidance.
How to Discuss Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
When preparing to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to think about what you will say and how the person may react. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not one discussion. Your loved one may take weeks or months of talks 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 force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if someone refuses to wear them.
Find Your Moment
Choose a time when your loved one is relaxed and alone. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them sensitive to any perceived attack. To ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively engage in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Mention circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time hearing tv shows or asked people to repeat what they said. Rather than focusing on your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the effect of hearing issues on their daily life. You could say something like “You don’t seem to go out with your friends as much these days, could that be because you have a hard time hearing them?”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing loss often corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults confronted with physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing loss. Let them know that you recognize how hard this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people cooperate you will have the most successful conversation about hearing loss. The process of purchasing hearing aids can be very overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. In order to make the journey as smooth as possible, offer to help. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people might feel self-conscious about needing hearing aids so letting them know that hearing loss is more common than they think.
Know That The Process Doesn’t End With Hearing Aids
So your talks were persuasive 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 process, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any concerns your family member might have with their new hearing aids.