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Hearing Loss

5 Ways to Convince Parents to Get Hearing Aids

Repeatedly responding to “What’d you say?” can often be the norm during conversations with aging parents. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, about 28.8 million U.S. adults could benefit from using hearing aids. Despite age being the strongest predictor of hearing loss among adults, fewer than one in three adults aged 70 and older with hearing loss, who could benefit from hearing aids, have ever actually used them.

To make matters worse, hearing loss is often progressive in nature. This means it can become gradually worse without the problem being immediately apparent to those suffering. Loved ones however, may notice a bit sooner.

Whether it’s loudly repeating yourself or noticing the TV volume up too high, all signs may be pointing to concerns of hearing loss. But how do you get aging parents to realize how much of a toll this is truly taking on their wellbeing?

Here are a few ways to convince your parents to consider hearing aids.

  1. Discuss the sense of independence they’ll gain.

Not relying on others to repeat messages will allow your parents to play a more active role in discussions. While this can easily be taken for granted, being able to participate in the flow of information is essential to living an independent and productive life. This includes for example, being privy to important announcements when they are being made verbally.

  1. Share how feelings of frustration may be reduced.

Older adults with hearing loss may hear noise but may not be able to discern what it is. This may be especially true with speech, making conversations extremely difficult. This is all dependent on the specific type of hearing loss, which may call for different kinds of communication needs.

  1. Express your desire for their safety.

Whether it’s being able to hear the smoke detector when sleeping at night or a car honk while driving, talk about your desire for them to be as safe as possible at all times and how hearing well will help.

  1. Discuss fatigue and how it can be reduced.

It’s easy to underestimate the amount of energy and effort it takes for someone who is hearing impaired to listen. In reality, it’s extremely exhausting and causes fatigue, which can impact the desire to partake in leisure activities and also impacts productivity. The brain has to work much harder to think and interpret sound and produce speech.

  1. Offer to go with them to their first appointment.

Help reduce the fear of the unknown and increase the sense of urgency by offering to go with them to an appointment for a hearing test. An audiologist who will evaluate the sensitivity of their sense of hearing typically conducts this test. The test assesses a person’s ability to hear by measuring the ability of sound to reach the brain. Joining this appointment can help reduce any anxiety they may have been experiencing by just thinking about the visit.

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