The reality of the situation is that the older we get, the higher the chances of us needing hearing assistance in the form of a hearing aid. According to data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey, it is estimated that approximately 2% of adults between the ages of 45 to 54 have disabling hearing loss. The rate increases to 8.5% for adults between the ages of 55 to 64. Around one in four adults from the age of 65 to 74 have disabling hearing loss, with an increase to one in two of those 75 years of age and older.
In other words, your parents are more than likely going to require a hearing aid as they age. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to approach them with the request that they consider going for a hearing assessment. Some individuals may react defensively to the suggestion that their hearing is no longer what it used to be, while some may feel embarrassed, offended, or upset. The secret is to approach the situation with tact and understanding. Here are three helpful tips to keep in mind.
Be Upfront but Sensitive
Avoid ‘beating around the bush’, as this may make it seem that they really do have something to feel embarrassed about. The best way in which to get the conversation started is to be upfront, without being accusatory or brash about the subject. For example, you may wish to say something like, “Dad, I have noticed that you are struggling to hear what I am saying a lot of the time recently. Do you think that perhaps your hearing might not be at its best right now? Maybe it is time to go for a hearing assessment with a professional? I would be happy to go with you!”
If he refuses or claims that his hearing is fine, do not harp on the topic. Rather, leave it be until another time when it is evident that he is struggling to hear and it is a good time to bring it up again in a similar manner. Just be mindful to never broach the subject in a ‘See? I told you so’ sort of manner.
Focus on the Benefits
Instead of pointing out how much your parent’s hearing has deteriorated and what they are battling to do each day as a result of this, try to focus more on the benefits that would come with getting a hearing aid. Explain how they would be able to be more involved in daily conversations, not have to turn the television up so loud and disturb the neighbors, and just generally enjoy a better quality of life. This realization may be just the motivation that they need in order to consider a hearing assessment.
Speak to Their Doctor
Consider approaching their doctor if, despite your best efforts, your parent is just not listening to your suggestions for getting a hearing assessment. Unfortunately, in many instances, people will only be open to listening to advice received from a medical professional rather than advice received by their concerned loved ones!
Here at the Chenault House of Hearing, we offer free hearing assessments and screenings. If it comes to light that your parent does, in fact, require hearing assistance, we can help them to find the hearing aid that best suits their needs and budget. We specialize in affordable and rechargeable hearing aids manufactured by Beltone. For more information or to schedule a hearing assessment with one of our professionals, please do not hesitate to get in touch.