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

When your mother is always a few seconds too late to react to the punchline of a joke or your father quits talking on the phone because it’s too tough to hear, it’s time to talk about hearing aids. Although a quarter of individuals aged 65 to 74 and half of people over the age of 75 have noticeable hearing loss, it can be an altogether different matter getting them to acknowledge their hearing problems. Hearing frequently declines slowly, meaning that many individuals may not even realize how profoundly their day-to-day hearing has changed. And even if they are aware of their hearing loss, it can be a big step having them to accept they need hearing aids. If you want to make that discussion easier and more productive, observe the following advice.

How to Tell a Loved One That They Need Hearing Aids

View it as a Process, Not a Single Conversation

When planning to have a dialogue about a family member’s hearing impairment, you have a lot of time to consider what you will say and how the person might respond. When preparing, it’s recommended to frame this as a process instead of one conversation. It might take a series of discussions over weeks or months for your loved one to accept they’re suffering from a hearing problem. And that’s okay! Let the conversations proceed at their own pace. You really need to hold off until your loved one is really comfortable with the decision before going ahead. If somebody refuses to wear their hearing aids, they don’t do much good after all.

Pick The Appropriate Time

When your loved one is by themselves and relaxed would be the most appropriate time. If you pick a time when other people are around you might draw too much attention to your loved one’s hearing loss and they might feel like they’re being ganged up on and attacked. To make sure that your loved one hears you correctly and can actively participate in the conversation, a quiet one-on-one is the best plan.

Take a Clear And Straightforward Approach

Now isn’t the time to beat around the bush with obscure statements about your worries. Be direct: “Lets’s have a discussion about your hearing mom”. Present clear examples of symptoms you’ve observed, like having a hard time hearing television shows asking people to repeat themselves, complaining that people mumble, or missing information in important conversations. Focus on how your loved one’s hearing problems impact their day to day life instead of emphasizing their hearing itself. For instance, “I’ve noticed that you don’t socialize as often with your friends, and I wonder if your hearing issue might be the reason for that”.

Acknowledge Their Concerns And Underlying Fears

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

Offer Next Steps

When both individuals cooperate you will have the most effective discussion about hearing impairment. The process of getting hearing aids can be really daunting and that could be one reason why they are so hesitant. So that you can make the journey as smooth as possible, offer to help. Before you talk, print out our information. You can also call us to see if we take your loved one’s insurance. Information about the commonness of hearing problems may help individuals who feel sensitive or ashamed about their hearing loss.

Know That The Process Doesn’t Stop With Hearing Aids

So your talks were persuasive and your loved one has agreed to look into hearing aids. Fantastic! But the process doesn’t stop there. It takes time to adapt to hearing aids. Your loved one has new sounds to manage, new devices to take care of, and maybe some old habits to forget. Be an advocate during this adjustment time. If your family member is dissatisfied with the hearing aids, take those concerns seriously.

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