How to Talk to 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 begin talking about hearing aids when your dad stops using the phone because he has a difficult time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and 50% of individuals over 75, getting them to accept their troubles can be another matter entirely. Hearing usually worsens gradually, meaning that many people may not even recognize how significantly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do know it, admitting that they need hearing aids can be a big step. If you want to make that discussion easier and more productive, observe the following advice.

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

When planning to have a discussion about a family member’s hearing loss, you have a lot of time to consider what you will say and how the person may react. When planning, it’s recommended to frame this as a process instead of a single conversation. Your loved one may take weeks or months of conversations to accept hearing loss. And that’s fine! Let the conversation have a natural flow. The last thing you want to do is push your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are ready. If a person won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.

Choose Your Moment

Pick a time when your loved one is calm and alone. If you choose a time when other people are around you may draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they could 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.

Be Clear And Straightforward in Your Approach

Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your concerns. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Emphasize 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 impact their day-to-day life rather than emphasizing their hearing itself. For example, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.

Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears

For older adults who are weaker and face age-related difficulties in particular hearing loss is frequently associated with a broader fear of loss of independence. Be compassionate and try to recognize where your loved one is coming from if they resist the idea that they have hearing loss. Acknowledge how hard this discussion can be. If the discussion begins to go south, wait until a later time.

Offer Next Steps

When both people work together you will have the most successful discussion about hearing loss. The process of getting hearing aids can be really daunting and that might be one reason why they are so reluctant. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, assistance. 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 problems might help people who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing problems.

Realize That Hearing Aids Aren’t The End of The Process

So your loved one decided to consult us and get hearing aids. Great! But the process doesn’t stop there. It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to develop new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. If your family member is unhappy with the hearing aids, take those issues seriously.

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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