When your mother is always a few seconds too late to laugh at 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. Although hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and 50% of people over 75, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing issues. Hearing frequently declines gradually, meaning that many individuals might not even recognize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. 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 successful, observe the following advice.
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 impairment, you have a lot of time to ponder 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. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to acknowledge hearing loss. And that’s okay! Let the conversations proceed at a natural pace. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re prepared. If somebody won’t use their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Choose Your Moment
Decide on a time when your loved one is calm and alone. If you pick a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems and they could feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. A one-on-one conversation with no background noise also helps ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can take part in the conversation.
Be Clear And Direct in Your Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with vague pronouncements about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Give clear examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, such as having difficulty hearing television programs asking people to repeat themselves, complaining that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the impact 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 has something to do with that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and face age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is frequently associated with a broader fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to understand where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Acknowledge 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 conversation about hearing impairment. The process of buying hearing aids can be extremely daunting and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. So that you can make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. You can also call us to see if we take your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.
Recognize 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. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. Adapting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to develop new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.