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

You know it’s time to begin talking about 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 individuals over the age of 75 have noticeable hearing loss, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to recognize their hearing issues. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it declines gradually. Even if they do know it, acknowledging 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 note.

How to Explain to a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids

Recognize That it Won’t be One Conversation But a Process

When preparing to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing loss, you have a lot 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 conversation. It may take a number of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to accept they have a hearing problem. And that’s fine! Let the discussions proceed at their own pace. One thing you don’t want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are ready. If someone won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.

Pick The Right Time

Decide on a time when your loved one is relaxed and alone. If you choose a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing problems and they might 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 Open And Straightforward in Your Approach

Now is not the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a talk about your hearing mom”. Offer well-defined examples of symptoms you’ve observed, like having trouble following tv shows asking people to repeat what they said, complaining that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing issues effect their day-to-day life rather than talking about their hearing itself. For instance, “I’ve observed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue has something to do with that”.

Be Sensitive to Their Underlying Fears And Concerns

Hearing impairment frequently corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults dealing with physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is resistant to talk about hearing aids or denies the issues, try to understand where he or she is coming from. Let them know that you understand how hard this discussion can be. If the discussion starts to go south, table it until a different time.

Provide Help With Further Action

When both people work together you will have the most successful conversation about hearing loss. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. Provide your help to make the transition as smooth as you can. Before you talk, print out our information. You can also call us to see if we accept your loved one’s insurance. 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 loved one consented to consult us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t end there. Adapting to life with hearing aids takes time. Your loved one has new sounds to process, new devices to take care of, and maybe some old habits to forget. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any concerns your family member might have with their new hearing aids.

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