When your mother is always a couple of seconds too late to react to the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too difficult to hear, it’s time to discuss hearing aids. Although a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over age 75 have noticeable hearing loss, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing problems. Hearing frequently declines slowly, meaning that many people may not even recognize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, acknowledging that they need hearing aids can be a huge step. The following advice can help you frame your discussion to make sure it hits the right tone.
How to Consider Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
Before having the conversation, take the time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will respond. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one discussion. Your loved one might take weeks or months of talks to accept hearing loss. There isn’t anything wrong with that! Let the conversation 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 don’t do any good if someone won’t wear them.
Find Your Moment
Choose a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. If you go with a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they may feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. To ensure 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 Direct Approach
It’s best not to be vague and ambiguous about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Offer clear examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, like having trouble following tv programs asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than focusing on 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 issue has something to do with that”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
Hearing impairment often corresponds to a broader fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults confronted with physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing loss. Let them know that you recognize how hard this discussion can be. If the conversation starts to go south, wait until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both people cooperate you will have the most effective conversation about hearing loss. The process of buying hearing aids can be very overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so hesitant. So that you can make the process as smooth as possible, offer to help. Print out and rehearse before you talk. We can also check to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance before they call. Information about the commonness of hearing problems may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one consented to see us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. Adapting to life with hearing aids takes some time. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to establish new habits. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.