How to tell someone they need a hearing aid
When someone we love starts to lose skills and abilities they once had due to their age, it can be heart-breaking. It can be difficult to know how to talk to someone about hearing loss. Not many people like to admit that they are getting older and need help. Many of us fear losing our independence as we age. As with any change, coming to terms with hearing loss takes time, and for many, the first stage is denial.
Studies have shown that when hearing loss is ignored, it can hasten cognitive decline. As hearing loss is usually gradual, most people don’t seek help until the problem is much worse. People typically begin experiencing hearing loss 7-10 years before they decide to check out the problem with an audiologist.
If you know someone who has their TV turned up too loud, or is asking for you to repeat the conversation, they should consider having a hearing test from a qualified audiologist. When hearing is left to deteriorate, it can cause communication breakdowns, loneliness, loss of balance, arguments and upset.
How to talk to someone about hearing loss
If you know someone who is struggling with hearing loss, it is always best to talk about your concerns with them. Here are some tips on how to do so successfully: –
Research the market
Take time to research the basics of hearing loss and the latest hearing aids available. Technology is changing all the time and many hearings aids are so easy to use, adaptable to changing environments, bluetooth enabled and invisible in the ear. It’s beneficial to have some basic knowledge of what is available before you broach the subject.
Pick the time wisely
It is best to talk about hearing when they are calm and relaxed. Avoid having difficult conversations if you or they are stressed or in a rush. Turn off the TV and radio to talk in peace.
Be kind and empathetic
We will all get older and hearing loss is a natural part of the ageing process. Tell them you want the best for them so you can continue to chat and laugh together. Tell them how you feel when they can’t hear you as well as they used to and are missing out on the connection. Ask them how they feel about their hearing.
Find a local professional
Once you have found a local hearing healthcare professional, offer to attend the first consultation with them. It might seem daunting to consider what is the right hearing aid on their own and your opinion could help and support them. There are many social and emotional benefits to wearing a hearing aid and a qualified audiologist can advise on the best options available.