Perhaps over the holidays you spent more time with your parents and found yourself repeating sentences a little too often or turning down the volume on a television. It may be time to talk to your parents about their hearing loss and the potential benefits of hearing aids. Whether young or old, sometimes parents need convincing and coaching when it comes to getting hearing aids. Here are a few tips.
Parents with Hearing Loss: Do Your Research
The first thing your parents will ask is what they can do about their hearing loss. As their child, it may feel strange turning the table and giving them advice, but you can answer their questions with the right research ahead of time. You can compile a list of audiologists if they do not already have one, provide potential costs of hearing aids, test their hearing online using a free tool, and even find resources for the hearing loss community. Having answers may make the process less overwhelming for your parent.
Your parent may have grown up in an age where hearing aids came with a stigma. They may feel that admitting they have hearing loss means they are getting older, and this can be a tough realization. Reassure them that hearing aids are smaller, more discreet, and less stigmatized than they have been in the past. Be empathetic and supportive, and remind them you are only coming from a place of love.
Explain Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can often sneak up on you. Since most hearing loss happens gradually over time, it may be tough knowing when the problem is large enough to address. Provide you parent with a checklist of symptoms so they understand how hearing loss specifically affects them. Perhaps they think everyone else mumbles, have ringing in their ears, or gave up on understanding phone conversations. Listen to them describe how hearing loss modifies their life, and explain these symptoms are part of the larger issue of hearing loss.
Explain Hearing Aids
There are many different types of hearing aids on the market, which can be overwhelming. Talk them through how hearing aids work, what type of hearing aid might benefit them, and how their life could change while wearing hearing aids. Explain that hearing aids are unique to the wearer and can be adjusted for their comfort, lifestyle, and needs. Talk them through basic hearing aid care and how simple it can be to own a pair. They should understand that wearing hearing aids would only benefit them, never come at a detriment. Hearing aids improve social, physical, and mental health, and create a greater standard of living for the wearer.
Create a Plan
Having this conversation is a fantastic step in the right direction, but there needs to be follow-up. If your parent has gone this long without calling the audiologist for a hearing check, they may be reticent to do so now. Remind your parent you are there to help. Perhaps you can call on their behalf or drive them to appointments. The easier you make this process, the greater the chance your parent will invest and wear their hearing aids.