People may joke about “being deaf” but facing the reality of their hearing loss can be difficult for our loved ones. You may have already tried to bring up your loved one’s difficulty with hearing and had them shut down the conversation.
To make your next attempt more successful, our hearing professional at Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming has some advice on how you can tell your loved on that it’s time for hearing aids.
Learn About Hearing Aids And Hearing Loss
Before you try to broach the topic of hearing aid use and hearing loss with your loved one, do some research on your own. This research can help you understand more about the hearing loss process as well as hearing aids. The better you understand how hearing loss happens and what modern hearing aids are like, the more you can help answer some of the questions your loved one will likely ask as you talk to them.
By showing that you cared enough to learn about what they are going through, your loved one will feel understood, and you can help demystify what is happening to them.
Plan The How, Where, And When Of The Hearing Aid Discussion
Simply blurting out, “I think you need hearing aids,” is highly unlikely to result in a positive reaction from your loved one. For one thing, depending on where you try to talk to them about hearing aids, they may feel embarrassed by you even talking about it.
While it is not their fault that they have hearing loss, many people can feel ashamed and defensive when someone notices their hearing loss. So, it is important that you plan your approach to this sensitive discussion.
Consider these factors as you look to discuss hearing loss with your loved one:
- How – As you consider how you are going to approach your loved one, consider how you will open the conversation about their needs for hearing aids. Will you wait for a natural opening, such as when your loved one remarks that they can’t hear you or will you broach the topic yourself? By planning out how you will open the conversation, you can help guide.
- Where – A noisy restaurant or during a family get-together is probably one of the least-ideal settings for a conversation about hearing loss. Choosing a less public and quieter setting, like an afternoon lunch at your home, will usually be a better option.
- When – When you have the conversation includes both time of day and how long you are going to wait before speaking up. As hearing loss is best addressed early, it is not recommended that you put off the conversation for long. But, when it comes to the time of day to open the conversation, you will need to determine when your loved one is at their best and will be better able to have the conversation with you.
Approach Your Loved One With Compassion And Understanding
One of the main predictors of the outcome of your hearing aid conversation with your loved one will be your own attitude.
It is vital that you approach your loved one with compassion and understanding, even if they react defensively or with anger when you bring up that you believe they need hearing aids. Hearing loss can be a very personal feeling loss, and your loved one may not know how to deal with it emotionally.
By being there for your loved one, providing compassionate support through their hearing loss journey and doing your best to understand their feelings, you can help them come to terms with needing hearing aids more quickly.
Explain Why Using Hearing Aids Is Important
To help your loved one be onboard with hearing testing and receiving hearing aids, you may need to explain why their use of hearing aids is important. Some people who need hearing aids may resist by saying things such as, “Well, all I need to do is turn the volume up and ask people to speak louder. It’s not that big a deal.”
But hearing loss is far more pervasive than just needing things to be a bit louder. For one thing, many people with hearing loss have high-frequency hearing loss. This type of hearing loss means that things at higher frequencies, such as grandchildren’s voices, can be difficult to hear.
Hearing loss is also strongly connected to increased rates of dementia. As the brain receives less input from the auditory system, it takes a toll on the areas of the brain responsible for processing sound input and can lead to cognitive decline.
Also, you may want to point out to your loved one how you’ve noticed that they don’t enjoy most of their social activities anymore. Hearing loss can isolate people, as they feel uncomfortable with their inability to hear. With the use of hearing aids, your loved one would be able to participate in their favorite social activities again without feeling lost and left out.
Offer Your Support With Your Loved One’s Hearing Aid Journey
More than anything, you should be sure your loved one knows you are there to support them. At Modern Hearing Solutions of Wyoming, we always welcome supportive family and friends with our patients because we know that your support is often what made your loved one comfortable enough to take the step toward better hearing.
You can play an active role in supporting your loved one’s hearing journey, from assisting with their hearing evaluation to helping them decide what hearing aid style best suits them. Also, as your loved one is fitted for their hearing aids, having you present to use as a hearing baseline can help both your loved one and our hearing instrument specialist determine if their hearing aid programming is accurate.
If your loved one is ready to have their hearing evaluated and receive fitted hearing aids for their needs, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our hearing specialist is ready to help your loved one achieve the best hearing possible.