Hearing loss can be a delicate subject to broach with parents. Having hearing difficulty may raise your parent’s anxieties about aging and their overall cognitive functioning. As a result, many people experience resistance when discussing hearing problems with their aging loved ones. When dealing with hearing loss, helping your parents admit they have a problem is the first step in getting treatment.
Just Do It
In many cases, parents avoid talking about hearing issues because of embarrassment or denial. However, children sometimes exacerbate the problem by avoiding the topic in an attempt not to hurt their parents’ feelings. In the long run, this approach is counterproductive.
To begin the conversation, be straightforward but gentle. Simply stating, “Mom, I’ve been noticing that you’re asking me to repeat myself more often. I think it might be a good idea to get a routine hearing check,” broaches the subject directly without being confrontational.
Let the Conversation Unfold
It’s unlikely that a single conversation a resistant loved one will cause him or her to seek professional help. Instead, view the conversation as a process that will unfold over time. Begin the conversation, and then let it drop for a week or two. Revisiting the conversation periodically gives your parents time to think and consider the extent of their hearing problem.
It’s possible that you will meet resistance when dealing with hearing loss in parents who are in denial about their problem. As a result, it’s important to come prepared. Think about specific situations in which you’ve noticed a hearing problem. This might include:
- Complaints about background noise
- Saying that voices seem muffled
- Ringing in the ears
- Responding inappropriately in conversations
- Difficulty with phone conversations
- Avoiding social situations
- Turning the TV or radio up to a high volume
- Requiring frequent repetition of information
Make sure to bring up relevant anecdotes in a neutral, non-confrontational way. Simply present what you’ve observed and listen to your parent’s response.
Provide Some Facts
Many people don’t want to admit they have hearing loss because they are concerned about the cost, appearance, or functionality of hearing aids. Come armed with a few facts. First, establish that hearing loss is a normal part of aging and happens to a large proportion of adults. Then, discuss advances in hearing aid technology. Today’s hearing aids are smaller and more unobtrusive than ever. Plus, they use state-of-the-art technology to filter out background noise, reduce interference, and provide an excellent user experience. Some hearing aids are even controlled by smartphone apps, allowing users to tweak their settings according to the situation at hand.
Although it can be difficult to broach the subject of hearing loss with your parents, it is essential to helping them get treatment. The best approach is to stay caring, compassionate, and concerned, rather than frustrated or confrontational. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your loved one hear again.