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 hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of people over 75, getting them to accept their troubles can be another matter altogether. Hearing frequently declines gradually, meaning that many people might not even realize how profoundly their everyday hearing has changed. And even if they are aware of their hearing loss, it can be a big step having them to acknowledge they need hearing aids. The following advice can help you frame your conversation to make sure it hits the right tone.
How to Discuss Hearing Aids With a Loved One
Recognize That it Won’t be a Single Conversation But a Process
When planning to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have lots of time to think about what you will say and how the person might respond. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one discussion. It might take a series of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they’re suffering from a hearing issue. There isn’t anything wrong with that! Let the discussions proceed at their own pace. The last thing you want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re ready. If a person refuses to use their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Find Your Moment
When your loved one is by themselves and relaxed would be the most appropriate time. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and might 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 participate 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 ambiguous about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Point out situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a difficult time following tv programs or asked people to repeat themselves. Rather than focusing on your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the impact of hearing issues on their everyday 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 difficult time hearing them?”.
Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears
For older adults who are more frail and face age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is frequently linked to a broader fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and attempt to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Acknowledge how difficult this conversation can be. If the conversation begins to go south, table it until a later time.
Provide Help With Further Action
When both individuals work together you will have the most effective conversation about hearing impairment. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of purchasing hearing aids. Offer your help 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 take your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems might help individuals who feel sensitive or embarrassed about their hearing loss.
Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your loved one decided to see us and get hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t stop there. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to establish new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment period. Take seriously any issues your family member may have with their new hearing aids.