Your Parents Need Hearing Aids?
Here’s How to Get Them to Listen
Do you find yourself having to repeat things to your parents more and more frequently as they get older? This common problem can be easy to brush off as an inevitable part of aging, but hearing loss can pose some serious risks such as increased risk of injury and depression.
Hearing loss can make tasks like driving dangerous by impairing the ability to hear warning sounds, or it can make social activities and relationships difficult to maintain if communication becomes frustrating. It is important for those with hearing loss to know not only where and how to get help, but also that there is no shame in taking action.
Here are some tips for having that conversation:
- Prepare yourself and have your answers handy. You will need to be able to explain the importance of getting help and answer their questions knowledgably.
- Timing is everything. Pick a good time to talk; for instance, don’t try to start the conversation when they’re already stressed out, and don’t interrupt their favorite show or hobby.
- Be empathetic. Once you have their attention, don’t forget to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand their concerns, and don’t get frustrated if they aren’t receptive right away.
- Be constructive. Try not to focus on the hearing loss itself so much as how it’s affecting their lives, as well as how treatment can improve their lives. Maybe mention a former favorite pastime that hearing aids could help them enjoy again, or discuss ways treatment can make them safer and healthier.
- Reassure. Offer yourself as a support system on their treatment journey and as a liaison to help them connect with their hearing care professional. (If paying for care is an issue, you might offer financial support, too.)
Finally, don’t let the conversation end there. Continue checking in and being there every step of the way as they adjust to whichever treatment option they pursue.