As we get older, our parents do too. While age may mean that your parents are retired and have plenty of time to spend with you and your kids, it also often means that their health isn’t as good as it used to be.
With age, one of the first things to go is our hearing. In fact, age-related hearing loss is one of the most common types of hearing loss, and if one of your parents is having trouble hearing you these days, they may be one of the many experiencing this type of hearing loss.
Once you recognize your parent’s hearing loss, you may start wondering if they would benefit from hearing aids. While you may recommend hearing aids to your parent with their best interest in mind, this suggestion may not go over as well as you’d hope it would. In fact, that’s one of the reasons we suggest that folks refrain from purchasing hearing aids as a gift.
Hearing loss can be a delicate subject and should be handled with care. Remember, accepting one’s hearing loss is often a part of accepting one’s age, and that’s never easy. But to make the process easier on you, we’ve put together 5 steps you can take to start discussing hearing aids with your parent. That way, you can begin to steer your parent in the direction of acquiring better hearing.
1. Do your research.
Before starting a conversation with your parent, you should become informed about hearing loss and hearing aids. From learning about the types of hearing loss to understanding what styles of hearing aids are available, you’ll be prepared to answer questions your parent may have.
In addition to researching the facts, you may also want to start looking into where your parent can get a hearing test--we recommend your local ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor)--to where they can purchase hearing aids. Keep in mind that there are affordable options available!
Thinking of surprising your parent with hearing aids? That may not be the best idea: here are 6 Reasons NOT to Give Hearing Aids as a Gift.
2. Find a good time to talk about it.
As mentioned, telling your parent that they have hearing loss must be handled with care. As they most likely have age-related hearing loss, you are essentially reminding them that they are aging, and that’s something that many of us would rather deny than face.
Instead, start talking about hearing loss when there are no other stressors present, whether it be the hearing loss itself or another issue. Ideally, discuss hearing loss during a peaceful, one-on-one get-together with your parent.
3. Make ‘hearing better’ a partnership!
Did you know that people with age-related hearing loss often wait between 7 to 10 years before recognizing and seeking treatment for their hearing loss? That being said, if you’ve helped your parent to acknowledge their hearing loss, half of the battle is over.
This still means, however, that you’ll need to win the second half of that battle. From going to their hearing test with them to helping them select a hearing aid, partnering with with your parent throughout this process will increase their likelihood of acquiring better hearing.
4. Highlight the positives of hearing better with hearing aids.
Choosing to begin the journey to hearing better can be an exciting but sometimes frustrating one. For example, on one hand, your parent will finally begin to enjoy sounds they haven’t heard in a while, but at the same time, they’ll have to work through adjusting to hearing with hearing aids.
As such, your parent may need some motivation to keep going. Remind them how Hearing Better Promotes a Better Well-Being. You may also consider shedding light on Hearing Loss and Its Effects on the Family.
By being advocate for better hearing, you can help to keep your parent’s eye on the prize: better hearing!
Has your loved one been making excuses for not starting their journey to better hearing? Here are 4 Obstacles to Overcome When Your Loved One Needs Hearing Aids.
5. Continue to cheer them on!
Once your parent receives their new hearing aids, their journey to hearing better isn’t over. It will take roughly 3 to 5 weeks for their brain to adjust to their newly acquired ability to hear. That being said, your parent may feel tempted to give up at times, and consider returning their aid.
If this happens, you’ll need to help them focus on reaching the final goal of hearing better. Likewise, however, you might consider sharing these 5 Ways to Make Adjusting to Hearing Aids Easier with them. These tips will help them to better adjust to their new way of hearing.
For more information, visit our step-by-step guide: Is Your Loved One Ready to Start Wearing Hearing Aids?
How Can We Help?
Since 1996, our team at Advanced Affordable Hearing has partnered with many folks like you to help their parents to hear better. By pre-programming our hearing aids to accommodate most mild to moderate hearing losses, we can keep prices low. This way, your loved one can afford to hear better.
To start your loved one’s journey to improving their hearing, they can visit our Online Hearing Check, or call our customer service representatives at 1 (800) 804-0434. From there, they can get a better sense of their level of hearing loss and select the appropriate hearing aid for that loss.
If you have any other questions, drop us a line.