How to Talk to a Loved One About Hearing Loss

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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 laughs late to the punchline of a joke. Even though hearing loss is detectable in a quarter of individuals from 65 yo74 and 50% of individuals over 75, it can be an entirely different matter getting them to recognize their hearing issues. Most people won’t even notice how much their hearing has changed because it worsens slowly. Even if they do recognize 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 tone.

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

View it as a Process, Not One Conversation

When preparing 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 react. As you think about this, remember that it will be a process not a single conversation. It may take a number of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to acknowledge they’re suffering from a hearing problem. And that’s fine! Let the conversation have a natural flow. The last thing you want to do is force your loved one into getting hearing aids before they are prepared. After all, hearing aids do no good if someone won’t wear them.

Find Your Moment

Choose a time when your loved one is relaxed and by themselves. Holidays or large gatherings can be demanding and may draw more attention to your family member’s hearing problems, making them sensitive to any perceived 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 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 conversation about your hearing mom”. Present clear examples of symptoms you’ve recognized, like having difficulty following tv programs asking people to repeat themselves, insisting that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Rather than emphasizing your loved one’s hearing itself, focus on the effect of hearing problems on their everyday life. For instance, “I’ve noticed that you don’t spend as much time with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue has something to do with that”.

Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears

Hearing impairment often corresponds to a larger fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. Be compassionate and attempt to understand where your loved one is coming from if they are resistant to the idea that they have hearing impairment. Acknowledge how difficult this conversation can be. Waite until later if the conversation begins to go south.

Provide Help With Further Action

When both individuals cooperate you will have the most effective conversation about hearing impairment. Part of your loved one’s reluctance to admit to hearing loss might be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. In order to make the process as smooth as possible, assistance. Print out and rehearse before you talk. 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 embarrassed about their hearing loss.

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

So your talks were persuasive and your loved one has agreed to explore hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t stop there. Adjusting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to care for, and maybe some old habits to forget. During this cycle of adjustment, be an advocate. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.

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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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