You know it’s time to begin talking about hearing aids when your dad stops using the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Even though a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of individuals over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, getting them to recognize their difficulties can be another matter entirely. Hearing usually worsens gradually, meaning that many individuals may not even realize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do recognize 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 advice.
How to Consider Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
When preparing to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to think about what you will say and how the person might respond. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not a single discussion. It may take a series of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to accept they have a hearing problem. There’s nothing wrong with that! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re ready. After all, hearing aids do no good if someone won’t wear them.
Pick The Appropriate Time
When your loved one is alone and calm would be the best time. If you pick a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems and they might 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 is not the time to beat around the bush with vague pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Point out circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a difficult time following tv programs or asked people to repeat what they said. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day-to-day life rather than talking about their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing impairment frequently corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, specifically for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and try to understand where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Let them know that you understand how hard this conversation can be. If the discussion begins to go south, table it until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most productive discussions about hearing loss happen when both people work together to make the right decisions. The process of buying hearing aids can be really daunting and that may be one reason why they are so hesitant. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people may 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 loved one agreed to see us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. 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 unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.