How to Communicate With a Loved One About Hearing Impairment

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

You know it’s time to start talking about hearing aids when your dad quits using the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Even though a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and half of individuals over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, getting them to accept their difficulties can be another matter altogether. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it worsens slowly. Even if they do recognize it, admitting that they need hearing aids can be a huge step. The following guidance can help you frame your discussion to make sure 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

Before having the conversation, take the time to think about what you will say and how your loved one will react. As you consider this, remember that it will be a process not one discussion. It may take a number of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they’re suffering from a hearing issue. And that’s fine! Let the conversations continue at a natural pace. The last thing you want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. After all, hearing aids don’t do any good if someone won’t wear them.

Find Your Moment

When your loved one is alone and calm would be the most appropriate time. Holidays or large gatherings can be stressful and could draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them hypersensitive to any imagined attack. 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 plan.

Take a Clear And Direct Approach

It’s best not to be vague and unclear about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Mention situations where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a difficult time hearing tv shows or asked people to repeat themselves. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing issues effect their day-to-day life instead of focusing on their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve observed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing problem has something to do with that”.

Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears

For older adults who are weaker and face age-related challenges in particular hearing loss is frequently linked to a wider fear of loss of independence. 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 recognize how difficult this discussion can be. If the conversation begins to go south, wait until a different time.

Provide Help With Further Action

When both individuals cooperate you will have the most effective discussion 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 possible. Before you talk, print out our information. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Information about the commonness of hearing issues might help people who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.

Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids

So your loved one decided to see us and get hearing aids. Great! But there’s more to it than that. Adjusting 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 unlearn. During this period of adjustment, be an advocate. Take seriously any concerns your family member may 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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