What’s The Best Way to Discuss Hearing Loss With a Loved One?

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

You know it’s time to begin talking over hearing aids when your dad quits talking on the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and half of people over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing problems. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines little by little. Even if they do recognize it, recognizing that they need hearing aids can be a big step. The following guidance can help you frame your conversation to make sure it hits the right tone.

How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids

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 a lot of time to think about what you will say and how the person may respond. When preparing, 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 problem. And that’s okay! Allow the conversations to have a natural flow. TOne thing you don’t want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are ready. After all, hearing aids do no good if somebody refuses to wear them.

Pick The Right Time

Choose a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. If you go with a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they could feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. A one-on-one talk with no background noise also ensures that your loved one hears you correctly and can engage in the conversation.

Be Clear And Direct in Your Approach

It’s best not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a conversation about your hearing mom”. Present clear examples of symptoms you’ve observed, such as having trouble hearing television programs asking people to repeat what they said, insisting that others mumble, or missing content in important conversations. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems effect their day-to-day life rather than talking about their hearing itself. You could say something like “You aren’t going out with your friends as much anymore, could that be because you have a hard time hearing them?”.

Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns

For older adults who are more frail and deal with age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is often associated with a broader fear of loss of independence. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the problem, attempt to understand where he or she is coming from. Acknowledge how difficult 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 take the next steps. The process of buying hearing aids can be very overwhelming and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. In order to make the journey as smooth as possible, assistance. 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 problems may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.

Know That The Process Doesn’t End With Hearing Aids

So your talks were convincing and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. It takes time to adjust to hearing aids. Your loved one has to deal with a new device, new sounds and has to develop new habits. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any concerns your family member might have with their new hearing aids.

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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