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

You know it’s time to start talking over hearing aids when your dad stops talking on the phone because he has a hard time hearing or your mom always reacts late to the punchline of a joke. Although a quarter of people aged 65 to 74 and 50 percent of people over the age of 75 have detectable hearing loss, getting them to recognize their difficulties can be another matter altogether. Hearing frequently worsens little by little, meaning that many individuals might not even realize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. Even if they do recognize it, recognizing that they need hearing aids can be a huge step. If you want to make that conversation easier and more productive, observe the following advice.

How to Talk About Hearing Aids With a Loved One

View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation

Before having the discussion, take some time to consider what you will say and how your loved one will react. When preparing, it’s recommended to frame this as a process as opposed to a single conversation. It might take a series of conversations over weeks or months for your loved one to admit they have a hearing issue. And that’s fine! Let the conversations proceed at their own pace. You really need to wait until your loved one is very comfortable with the idea before going ahead. If someone won’t wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.

Find Your Moment

When your loved one is by themselves and calm would be the best time. Holidays or large get-togethers can be demanding and might draw more attention to your family member’s hearing issues, making them sensitive 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 idea.

Take a Clear And Direct Approach

It’s best not to be vague and ambiguous about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Mention circumstances where they’ve insisted people are mumbling, had a difficult time following tv programs or asked people to repeat what they said. Talk about how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day-to-day life instead of emphasizing 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

Hearing loss frequently corresponds to a broader fear of losing independence, particularly for older adults facing physical frailty or other age-related changes. If your loved one is unwilling to talk about hearing aids or denies the issues, try to understand his or her point of view. Acknowledge how hard this discussion can be. If the discussion starts to go south, wait until a later time.

Offer Next Steps

The most effective discussions about hearing loss occur when both people work together to take the next steps. Part of your loved one’s resistance to admit to hearing loss may be that he or she feels overwhelmed about the process of buying hearing aids. Provide your support to make the change as smooth as possible. Print out and rehearse before you talk. We can also check to see if we take your loved one’s insurance before they call. Some people may feel self-conscious about needing hearing aids so letting them know that hearing loss is more common than they think.

Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids

So your loved one agreed to consult us and get hearing aids. Fantastic! But there’s more to it than that. Adapting to life with hearing aids will take time. Your loved one has to cope with a new device, new sounds and has to establish new habits. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. Take seriously any issues your family member might have with their new hearing aids.

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