It’s difficult to realize that parents age, and can be even harder to actually see them getting older and watching them experience the changes that occur as the years go by. While watching them grow old is difficult, having a conversation about changes in lifestyle can be even more emotionally challenging, regardless of what the issue or situation is. Seniors face a variety of issues, including joint pain, eyesight problems, and hearing loss. In this blog, we’re going to offer some tips on how to have a conversation with your loved one about getting hearing aids. Our audiologists have worked with countless patients, both young and old, and we understand how this change can be hard to come to terms with — it’s another sign they are getting older, they might lose their independence, it might mean they can’t drive, etc.. Here’s some insight into how you can have an effective conversation.
Do Your HomeworkIf possible, you’ll want to avoid starting a conversation without having anything specific to talk about. You can discuss the types of hearing aids, signs that hearing loss is becoming a problem, how to care for the devices, and methods of treatment. If they already know a little bit about hearing loss or aids, you can simply discuss the benefits of using them.
Consider the TimingIf they are already frustrated with certain things, it’s best to just avoid throwing another coal on the fire until they are calm. No one wants to feel like they are being ambushed with dozens of things that need to be changed right away. Try to bring up the topic when you’re in a quiet and comfortable environment, somewhere where they feel in control. If you’re at home, turn off the TV and put your phones away to give them your full attention and to limit distractions.
Focus on BenefitsRather than focusing on the negative impacts of hearing loss, keep the conversation positive and focused on the benefits of using hearing aids. Try not to make them feel even more frustrated about not being able to hear family or friends on the phone, or not wanting to go out because they can’t participate as often in the conversation. Rather, look at the benefits of hearing aids:
- Improved relationships
- Better mental health
- Participate more in social events
- Increased independence
- Improved balance
- Improved long-term health
Offer Your HelpHaving to navigate the medical industry can be overwhelming for people with perfect hearing, so if you can offer your help, this may provide the support they need to make the change.
- Offer to visit an audiologist with them.
- Write down a list of questions, including if their insurance or Medicare will cover the hearing aids.
- Help them find the right pair of hearing aids that fit right and they don’t feel self-conscious about.
- Take some time after the appointment to talk about how they’re feeling with everything.