When your mother is always a few seconds too late to react to the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too hard to hear, it’s time to discuss hearing aids. Although a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to recognize their hearing issues. Hearing often worsens gradually, meaning that many people might not even realize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a huge 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
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
Before having the conversation, take the time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will react. When preparing, it’s recommended to frame this as a process rather than a single conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of conversations to accept hearing loss. And that’s fine! Let the conversations proceed 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. If someone won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Choose Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the best time. If you go with a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems 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 Straightforward 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”. Provide well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, like having difficulty hearing tv programs asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing issues effect their day-to-day life instead of talking about their hearing itself. For instance, “I’ve observed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing problem might be the reason for that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is frequently associated with a wider fear of loss of independence. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the issues, attempt to understand his or her point of view. Acknowledge how difficult this discussion can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
The most effective discussions about hearing loss take place when both people work together to make the right decisions. Part of your loved one’s resistance to admit to hearing loss might be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of purchasing hearing aids. Offer your help to make the transition as smooth as you can. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. You can also call us to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing issues may help individuals who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Know That The Process Doesn’t End With Hearing Aids
So your talks were compelling and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t end there. Adjusting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to take care of, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.