It doesn’t take long to realize that someone you care about may be losing their hearing. Whether it’s your parents, grandparents, or a friend whose hearing has deteriorated over the past few years, the signs are all too visible; confused conversations, distance in noisy settings, and even withdrawal from the activities they once loved. You know that your friend or a family member suffers from hearing loss, and you want to be able to help–but you may struggle with how to handle the conversation. Many times, you may wonder if it will be embarrassing for both of you. In other cases, you may know that your loved one is incredibly independent and, therefore, incredibly resistant to offers of help.
There is good news. There are ways to talk to loved ones about hearing loss and the need for hearing aids; even if you’re starting to feel as though your loved one won’t ever bring it up on their own. If you’re dealing with a friend or family member with hearing loss, try some of these strategies.
1. Don’t start with, “You need hearing aids.”
In some cases, hearing loss can’t be resolved with hearing aids. In other cases, your friend or family member may become resistant to suggestions if you go straight in with hearing aids; especially if they’ve attached a negative stigma to them. Instead, start by suggesting that your loved one see a Hearing Aid Specialist. While the specialist may indicate a need for hearing aids, they may also have other suggestions that will help with hearing loss and make it easier to address potential concerns. Individuals with hearing loss may also show less resistance to options presented by a specialist, rather than options issued by you alone.
2. Take a look at modern hearing aids together.
When many people picture hearing aids, they’re thinking of the clunky, often uncomfortable devices used by their grandparents: huge, prominent affairs that suggest “old” or “disabled” to the world. Modern hearing aids, on the other hand, offer advantages that previous generations wouldn’t have had the chance to consider. Encourage your friend or family member to look at modern hearing aids with you. These devices are often so small that they’re almost invisible. As a result, they may go unnoticed when your loved one is out in public. Not only that, modern hearing aids offer many advantages that previous models didn’t. They can tune out background noise while focusing on voices; often, the most critical sound in your environment.
3. Discuss financial options.
For some individuals, finances can make hearing aids seem impossible. If you can do so, consider offering to help with financing hearing aids, or even visit a Hearing Aid Specialist with your friend. If your finances don’t permit, take a look at the options currently available. Modern hearing aids come along with helpful financial solutions, including:
Leasing, which will allow an individual with hearing loss to pay for hearing aids on a monthly or annual basis, rather than buying the equipment outright. This strategy also often makes it easier to handle repairs or changing hearing needs.
Financing options provided by the Hearing Aid Specialist may make it easier to pay for hearing aids over time. Often, you can find a flexible financing arrangement that works with your schedule.
Options available for every individual and every budget. Modern hearing aids come in a range of sizes and styles. If your loved one is on a tight budget, they may find there are cheaper hearing aid options available that will fit their needs. Often, these options are more affordable than either of you may have thought initially.
4. Offer to come along.
Hearing loss can be scary. Many people find that hearing loss separates them from other people and makes communication more challenging than they ever imagined. If your family member or friend is struggling to communicate following hearing loss or does not like to attend important appointments alone, offer to go with them. This simple gesture can make an individual with hearing loss much more comfortable with the entire process. Knowing that you’ll be attending the appointment with them can prevent your loved one from backing out at the last minute.
Hearing loss can be incredibly frustrating for both the individual losing their hearing and their family members. It can be a struggle to communicate and embarrassing when things get misunderstood. Fortunately, your friend or family member no longer has to struggle with hearing loss alone. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or to learn more about the hearing tests and hearing aid options available in our office.