When your mother is always a few seconds too late to react to the punchline of a joke or your father stops talking on the phone because it’s too tough to hear, it’s 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 recognize their challenges can be another matter altogether. Most people won’t even perceive how much their hearing has changed because it declines gradually. And even if they are aware of their hearing loss, it can be a big step getting them to admit they need hearing aids. The following guidance can help you frame your conversation to ensure it hits the right note.
How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids
View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation
When planning to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to think about what you will say and how the person might respond. When getting ready, it’s recommended to frame this as a process instead of one conversation. Your loved one might take weeks or months of conversations to acknowledge hearing loss. And that’s fine! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. You really need to hold off until your loved one is really comfortable with the idea before proceeding. If a person won’t use their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Pick The Appropriate Time
When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the best time. Holidays or large gatherings can be demanding and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them sensitive to any imagined attack. To ensure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively take part in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.
Take a Clear And Direct Approach
It’s beneficial not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Provide well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve noticed, such as having trouble following tv shows asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that others mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the impact of hearing problems on their daily life. You could say something like “You aren’t going 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
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 attempt to understand where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Acknowledge how difficult this discussion can be. If the conversation begins to go south, table it until a later time.
Offer Next Steps
When both individuals cooperate you will have the most effective discussion about hearing impairment. The process of buying hearing aids can be really overwhelming and that may be one reason why they are so hesitant. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, offer assistance. 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 people who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids
So your talks were convincing and your loved one has agreed to consider hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t stop 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. Take seriously any concerns your family member might have with their new hearing aids.