Hearing loss becomes more likely as we age. If you’ve noticed that a parent or other older family member seems like they might not be hearing as well as they used to, it can be concerning. They might seem detached or harder to connect with, which can be frustrating for both you and them.
Treating hearing loss with hearing aids or other assistive listening devices is extremely helpful to anyone with the condition. However, some are hesitant to take that first step and schedule a hearing test.
If you’d like to encourage your parent to seek treatment for their hearing loss, consider the following tips.
Tips for Speaking With Your Parents About Hearing Loss
- Pick the right time. Make sure that both of you are relaxed and not feeling overly stressed about their hearing loss or other personal issues before having this conversation. Pick a peaceful time with just the two of you and eliminate distractions like having the TV on.
- Come from a place of love and understanding. Try to empathize with your parent as you talk. They may be embarrassed, frustrated and uncomfortable having this conversation with their own child. Emphasize that it is coming from a place of love and caring about their health, and really listen when they talk about how this makes them feel.
- Talk about the impacts. Hearing a lecture on the importance of treating hearing loss may not be terribly effective but learning how their loved ones are affected can help your parent see the importance of treatment. Knowing that it makes you sad when you see them skipping their book club or seeming disengaged when out to a family dinner at Arvada Villa Italian Restaurant might motivate them to schedule an appointment.
- Offer to help. If they agree to seek treatment, ask what you can do to help. This may include taking them to their hearing test and other audiological appointments, looking at different hearing aid models with them, and helping them with any technical issues they might have.
Tips for Communicating With Hearing Loss
In addition to getting hearing aids, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has steps that both you and your loved one with hearing loss can take to make communication easier. They include:
- Being open about your needs if you have hearing loss
- Practicing good communication strategies, such as making sure you are facing a person with hearing loss when you talk to them and avoiding covering your face.
- Choosing quieter environments with minimal background noise when getting together.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Advantage ENT & Audiology today.