Hearing loss often comes on slowly and quietly as we age. Helping an older parent realize the time has come to consider the option of a hearing aid may come as a surprise to them, especially if they have taken all the appropriate steps to keep their hearing health, and their overall health preserved.
Once your parent has become accustomed to using a hearing aid or assistive listening device (ALD), they may quickly find how much their quality of life has improved. But, getting them to that point may be more difficult for some than it is for others. Approaching the topic with your parent may be difficult. But, there are some ways to best discuss it that helps aging parents feel hopeful about the prospect of getting a hearing aid.
Here are some steps you can take to make the transition to a hearing aid a bit easier on your parent. If you feel your parent may be resistant to the idea of a hearing aid because of old-fashioned notions of embarrassment about aging, you’ll want to give these steps extra consideration.
Choose The Appropriate Environment
Environments that are quiet and private are the best places to have this kind of discussion so that your parent doesn’t have trouble hearing what’s being said, and can feel comfortable reacting naturally without strangers around.
Make Sure You’re Being Understood
Obviously, you don’t need to slow your speech, but you do need to make sure you’re not mumbling, that you are facing your parent in case he/she needs to read your lips (depending on the severity of their hearing loss), and you’re not eating while talking.
Listen and Affirm
Your parent may have a strong negative reaction at first. Don’t dismiss their feelings. Instead, embrace them. Their reactions are authentic and need to be validated before your parent can feel open to the idea of being evaluated for a hearing aid.
Share Your Feelings In A Respectful Way
If your parent understands how important it is to you that they be an active participant in your life by enabling them with the best hearing they can have, they may feel more motivated to have their hearing assessed.
Focus On The Positive
If your parent is in denial, he or she may have stopped thinking about all the positive benefits they once enjoyed with good hearing. Help remind them of all the fun things they can enjoy again with the help of a hearing aid, such as going to ball games, watching concerts in a crowded venue, attending parties, eating at busy restaurants, etc.
Go To The Appointment With Your Parent
Just like they went to your appointments with you when you were younger, they may need a little extra support when they get evaluated for a hearing aid. Having you there shows them how important this is to you, and how much you care about their hearing health.
Become an expert on hearing aids so that you’re better equipped to help your parent choose the best one for him/her and to be an advocate for your parent once the choice is made.
To learn more about different options available to discuss with your parent, please give us a call today to talk to a hearing health professional.