How to Discuss Hearing Loss with a Loved One: Tips from Sandia Hearing Aids
Hearing loss is very common, especially with age. In fact, up to one-third of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss. The prevalence gets even higher with increased age. After age 75, up to half of people have trouble hearing1.
Hearing loss can interfere with several aspects of life. A hearing difficulty may affect your ability to communicate with friends and family, hear alarms and warning signals, or maintain good mental health.
Despite the incidence of hearing loss, many people do not want to acknowledge that this is happening to them. In fact, the International Journal of Audiology indicates that of people between the ages of 55 and 74 that could benefit from a hearing aid, 80 percent do not use one2.
There are several reasons why someone may not want to admit they have hearing loss. For some, they may be embarrassed that a part of their health is declining. Others may not want to deal with the inconvenience or appearance of wearing a hearing aid.
When untreated, hearing issues can worsen. Therefore, if your loved one is experiencing hearing loss, you should talk to them about it. Doing so can open the door for medical intervention, such as hearing aids. This article will discuss tips for talking to a loved one about hearing loss.
Discussing Hearing Loss with A Loved One
It is essential to be adequately prepared before talking to your loved one. Know that they may get defensive and resistant to your advice. Try to empathize and understand where they are coming from while helping them see the benefits of treatment.
In your conversation, focus on the advantages of treatment to your loved one’s health.
For example, discuss the dangers associated with hearing loss. Talk about how seeing a doctor and using a hearing aid can help mitigate those risks and improve their overall quality of life.
Additionally, offer your support. Consider taking them to their appointment and helping to take notes during the visit.
Tips from Sandia Hearing Aids on How to Discuss Hearing Loss with a Loved One
These discussions are not always easy, but you can do a few things to have a more effective conversation. Because your loved one may have hearing loss, consider these tips:
- Talk to your loved one in a quiet place with minimal background noise. For example, avoid a family event or bustling restaurant.
- Hold the discussion in an area with proper lighting where your loved one can see the gestures you make and your facial expressions.
- Talk to your loved one while facing them head-on. This way, they can also read your lips to help them understand you.
- Avoid eating or chewing gum while you are talking.
- Raise your voice a bit louder than usual, but do not yell.
- Have patience when speaking to your loved one. You may need to repeat yourself or say something a different way.
- Speak at a slower speed than usual.
- Ensure that only one individual speaks at a time.
We’re here to help. Schedule a free hearing test for your loved one today at Sandia Hearing Aids so they can improve their hearing and get back to enjoying family and friends.
- Hearing loss: A common problem for older adults. (n.d.). National Institute on Aging. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hearing-loss-common-problem-older-adults
- Stepko, B. (n.d.). How to convince someone to consider wearing a hearing aid. AARP. Retrieved July 6, 2022, from https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2019/hearing-aid-reasons.html