A loved one experiencing hearing loss can create a challenge for both you and them. You may struggle to communicate with one another or watch your loved one withdraw more and more as they struggle to hear what's going on around them. Worse, you may feel frustrated on their behalf as their hearing deteriorates and begins to impact their interactions.
You can't decide to get hearing aids for your loved one, but you can help encourage them to consider the potential benefits. If you're ready to sit down with your loved one and have a conversation about hearing aids, consider these essential tips.
Tip #1: Start with a consultation, not a demand.
You aren't a hearing aid specialist, and in some cases, hearing aids alone might not be enough to solve your loved one's hearing problems. Instead of issuing a demand that your loved one gets hearing aids as soon as possible, start with an easier suggestion: a consultation with a hearing instrument specialist.
Let your loved one know what signs and symptoms you've noticed. Discuss how those symptoms have impacted their life. Remember to remain compassionate! Often, hearing loss and hearing aids come with a highly negative stigma attached. Your loved one may struggle with the concept of hearing loss or want to avoid hearing aids for as long as possible. A consultation with a hearing instrument specialist, however, can help them better understand their options, and simply having that knowledge can be a relief.
Tip #2: Offer help.
In most cases, it's probably safe to assume that your loved one knows they are struggling with hearing loss. Sometimes, hearing loss increases without warning, but it rarely appears without a person's awareness. Don't start your conversation with accusations. Instead, let them know what you've noticed and ask if they need any help with the situation. You may discover that your loved one is eager to approach a hearing instrument specialist, but doesn't know where to go or doesn't want to go alone. Merely starting the conversation can help your loved one move forward with this critical step.
Tip #3: Do some research on current hearing aid technology.
Many people have a negative view of hearing aids. They're viewed as clunky devices that are all too obvious to anyone who cares to look, whistling and spitting out feedback all the time while offering only a minor enhancement to the sounds around your loved one every day.
That might have been true of the hearing aids of the past, but it's not true of the hearing aids of today.
Today's hearing aids are smaller and less visible than ever. Not only that, technology has advanced substantially, focusing on the sounds that you need to hear and drowning out background noise more effectively than ever. Many hearing aids are virtually invisible, allowing your loved one to experience the benefits of hearing aids without suffering from the stigma.
Look up modern hearing aids together before you go in for your appointment with a hearing instrument specialist. Your loved one might realize that hearing aids will cause fewer problems than they think and that they offer better solutions.