When your mother is always several seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too hard to hear, it is time to discuss hearing aids. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, getting them to accept their challenges can be another matter entirely. Most individuals won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it declines slowly. Even if they do recognize it, acknowledging 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
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
Before having the discussion, take the time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will respond. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not a single conversation. It may take a number of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to admit they’re suffering from a hearing problem. There isn’t anything 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 going ahead. After all, hearing aids do no good if someone refuses to wear them.
Choose Your Moment
Pick a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. If you choose 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. 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 idea.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
Now is not the time to beat around the bush with vague statements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Provide well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve observed, such as having trouble following television programs asking people to repeat themselves, complaining that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than talking about your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the impact of hearing problems on their everyday life. For example, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing problem has something to do with that”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
Hearing impairment frequently corresponds to a broader fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults confronted with physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is reluctant to talk about hearing aids or denies the issues, attempt to understand his or her point of view. Acknowledge how hard this conversation can be. If the conversation begins to go south, wait until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people work together you will have the most effective discussion about hearing impairment. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of getting hearing aids. Offer your assistance to make the transition as smooth as possible. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. You can also give us a call to see if we take your loved one’s insurance. Some people may feel embarrassed 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 loved one agreed to see us and get hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t end there. Adjusting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to unlearn. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.