Woman showing her mother information about hearing loss and hearing aids in the kitchen.

You know it’s time to begin discussing hearing aids when your dad quits using the phone because he has a tough time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to accept their hearing issues. Most individuals won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it worsens slowly. Even if they do know it, recognizing that they need hearing aids can be a big step. The following advice can help you frame your discussion to ensure it hits the right tone.

How to Consider Hearing Aids With a Loved One

View it as a Process, Not One Conversation

When preparing to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing loss, you have a lot of time to ponder what you will say and how the person might respond. When planning, it’s recommended to frame this as a process instead of a single conversation. It may take a number of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they have a hearing issue. And that’s okay! Let the conversations continue at a natural pace. One thing you don’t want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. After all, hearing aids do no good if someone won’t wear them.

Choose Your Moment

When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the best time. Holidays or large get-togethers can be demanding and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them sensitive to any imagined attack. 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 Direct Approach

Now is not the time to beat around the bush with obscure pronouncements about your worries. Be direct: “Mom, I’d like to speak with you concerning your hearing”. Offer clear examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having a hard time hearing tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day-to-day life rather than focusing on their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve observed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.

Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns

For older adults who are more frail and face age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is frequently linked to a wider fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and try to understand where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing impairment. Let them know that you recognize how hard this discussion can be. If the conversation starts to go south, wait until a different time.

Offer Next Steps

The most successful discussions about hearing loss happen when both people work together to make the right decisions. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss might be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, offer to help. Before you have that conversation, print out our information. We can also check to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance before they call. Information about the commonness of hearing issues may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.

Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids

So your talks were compelling and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and perhaps some old habits to forget. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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