When your mother is always a couple of seconds too late to laugh at the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too tough to hear, it is time to talk about hearing aids. Although a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and half of individuals over age 75 have noticeable hearing loss, getting them to accept their troubles can be another matter altogether. Most people won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it worsens little by little. And even if they are aware of their hearing loss, it can be a big step getting them to acknowledge they need hearing aids. The following advice can help you frame your conversation to ensure it hits the right tone.
How to Consider Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
Before having the discussion, take some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not a single conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to admit to hearing loss. 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 proceeding. If somebody refuses to 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 most appropriate time. Holidays or large get-togethers can be stressful and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them hypersensitive to any imagined attack. To make sure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively engage in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best idea.
Take a Clear And Direct Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Present well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having difficulty hearing television shows asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing issues impact their day-to-day life rather than focusing on 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”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
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 unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, try to understand his or her point of view. Let them know that you understand how difficult this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Offer Next Steps
The most productive conversations about hearing loss occur when both people work together to take the next steps. 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. Provide your support to make the change as smooth as you can. Print out and rehearse before you talk. You can also call us to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing issues might help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing loss.
Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your talks were persuasive and your loved one has agreed to consider hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t end there. Adapting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and perhaps some old habits to unlearn. Be an advocate during this adjustment period. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.