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 hard to hear, it’s time to discuss hearing aids. Even though hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, getting them to accept their troubles can be another matter altogether. Hearing often declines gradually, meaning that many people may not even recognize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. And even if they are cognizant of their hearing loss, it can be a big step getting them to admit they need hearing aids. The following advice can help you frame your conversation to ensure it hits the right note.
How to Discuss Hearing Aids With a Loved One
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
Before having the conversation, take some time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will respond. When preparing, it’s recommended to frame this as a process rather than a single conversation. It might take a number of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to accept they have a hearing issue. And that’s fine! Let the conversations proceed at a natural pace. You really need to hold off until your loved one is very comfortable with the decision before going ahead. If somebody refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Find Your Moment
Decide on a time when your loved one is calm and by themselves. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them hypersensitive to any perceived 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 plan.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and ambiguous about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Mention situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a hard time hearing tv programs or asked people to repeat what they said. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing problems effect their day-to-day life rather than emphasizing their hearing itself. You could say something like “You don’t seem to go out with your friends as much these days, could that be because you have a hard time hearing them?”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
Hearing loss frequently corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults dealing with physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, try to understand his or her point of view. Acknowledge how difficult this conversation can be. If the conversation begins to go south, wait until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most productive conversations about hearing loss occur when both people work together to make the right decisions. The process of purchasing hearing aids can be extremely daunting and that may be one reason why they are so reluctant. Provide your assistance to make the change as smooth as you can. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Information about the commonness of hearing issues might help people who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one agreed to consult us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t end there. It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Your loved one has to deal with a new device, new sounds and has to create new habits. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.