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 is time to talk about hearing aids. Even though hearing loss is noticeable in a quarter of people from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to accept their difficulties can be another matter altogether. Hearing usually declines little by little, meaning that many individuals may not even recognize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, recognizing that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that conversation easier and more productive, observe the following advice.
How to Talk About Hearing Aids With a Loved One
View it as a Process, Not One Conversation
Before having the discussion, take the 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 instead of a single conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of talks to accept hearing loss. And that’s okay! Let the conversation have a natural flow. One thing you don’t want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they’re prepared. If someone refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.
Choose Your Moment
When your loved one is alone and relaxed would be the best time. If you pick a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems and they may feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. To make sure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively take part in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best idea.
Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach
It’s best not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Give well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, like having trouble following tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that people mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, talk about the impact of hearing problems 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?”.
Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns
For older adults who are weaker and deal with 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. Let them know that you understand how hard this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.
Provide Help With Further Action
The most productive conversations about hearing loss take place when both people work together to make the right decisions. The process of getting hearing aids can be extremely daunting and that could be one reason why they are so hesitant. So that you can make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. Print out and rehearse before you talk. We can also check to see if we take 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.
Recognize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process
So your talks were convincing and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t end there. It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to care for, and perhaps some old habits to forget. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.