The holiday season is filled with many festivities, from decorating to watching movies like Miracle on 34th Street and singing Christmas carols. But there’s one holiday activity that seems to trump all: gift-giving.
While kids are asking for the latest toys, adults often expect more practical gifts. That being said, if your loved one appears to have hearing loss, you may think that purchasing hearing aids for them would be a great idea!
“What would be better than giving the gift of hearing?” you might say.
It turns out that these devices are not usually received as well as you may expect. In fact, giving your loved one a pair of hearing aids is usually a pretty bad idea, and here are just 6 reasons why.
1. It’s difficult to select the right hearing aids for someone else.
Hearing aids are medical devices. As such, to select the right hearing aid, you’ll need to understand what type of hearing loss your loved one has. However, that will be difficult to determine if you don’t involve your loved one in the hearing aid selection process.
In addition, you’ll need to find out their style preferences. Because these devices are worn for a majority of the day, they’ll need to be comfortable for the person wearing them. Without knowing your loved one’s preferences for comfort, however, it’s hard to say if they’ll like the device you choose.
2. Your loved one may not have accepted their hearing loss yet.
You may be surprised to learn that most people with hearing loss deny their condition. On average, it takes people 7 to 10 years to accept their hearing loss and choose to purchase an assistive hearing device. That being said, while you may feel that your loved one is ready for a hearing aid, they themselves may not be ready.
Instead, one of the best first steps to helping your loved one start hearing better is by talking to them about their hearing loss. By discussing hearing loss with your loved one, you can help them on their journey to acceptance. Once they fully accept their hearing loss, they will be ready to commit to wearing hearing aids.
Shopping for someone else? Learn about 4 Obstacles to Overcome When Your Loved One Needs Hearing Aids.
3. Your loved one may feel like you think they’re getting old.
Because age-related hearing loss is so common, many people have come to associate hearing aids with being elderly. As such, if your loved one is older, giving them hearing aids as a gift might just make them feel old.
While you may have the best intentions when buying your loved one hearing aids, consider how your loved one could feel when receiving them. Although hearing aids could benefit your loved one, they may instead focus on the stereotypes associated with wearing the devices.
4. Your loved one might not be willing to adjust to hearing aids.
Many of us don’t realize that hearing aids come along with an adjustment process. With hearing loss, our ears and brains get used to not hearing well. So, when a person with hearing loss puts on a pair of these devices, suddenly amplifying sounds, their ears and brain will need time to adjust.
If your loved one knows anyone who has hearing aids, they may be fully aware of this adjustment process and know that it can take several weeks. While the adjustment period is often well worth it, if you’re loved one doesn’t want to commit to it, they’re not ready for their own pair.
To make shopping for your loved one easier, visit our step-by-step guide: Is Your Loved One Ready to Start Wearing Hearing Aids?
5. Your loved one may not like how things sound with hearing aids.
Maybe you haven’t talked to your loved one about hearing aids, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t considered trying them already. If your loved one has tried hearing aids before, but they don’t use them today, there’s a possibility that they didn’t enjoy that experience.
The truth is that hearing with hearing aids is different than hearing without them. With hearing aids, your voice will sound different to you and all sounds around you are amplified, instead of just those nearest to you. It’s a different world of listening, and your loved one needs to be ready for it.
6. Your loved one just might not want hearing aids.
You probably feel tempted to buy hearing aids for your loved one because you have trouble communicating with them. Maybe you have to raise your voice and repeat yourself for them to hear you. Other times, you may find yourself giving up because chatting with your loved one is just too difficult.
Regardless of how you feel, your loved one may be entirely happy living with hearing loss. Despite the fact that hearing aids can improve your quality of life, many people find ways to adjust to life with hearing loss, such as by turning up the TV volume or participating in fewer social situations.
When should you buy hearing aids for someone else?
Here’s a good rule of thumb: DO NOT buy hearing aids for your loved one without their consent. On the other hand, DO buy hearing aids for your loved one if they have accepted their hearing loss and are prepared to be fully involved in the purchase process. It’s that easy.
When your loved one is ready to hear better, Advanced Affordable Hearing is ready to help. Our mission to help people hear better at a price they can afford, including your loved one.
If you have any questions, we’re just phone call away at 1 (800) 804-0434.