Convincing parents to get hearing aids can be a more difficult task than some may think. When adult children approach their parent about getting hearing help, they are often met with resistance. Why?
There are many factors that could be the cause. Some parents are in denial they even have a hearing loss and suggestions they do are often met with a response to the effect of “Well, if you wouldn’t mumble all the time, maybe I could hear you.” However, most people don’t realize hearing loss doesn’t affect all sounds equally. Many people have loss only in the higher frequencies, where – in English – the consonants are located, and thus have issues understanding speech.
For some, a stigma may be attached to hearing aids. They may feel that wearing hearing aids make you weak, old or too dependent on others.
How can you overcome such objections and convince parents to get hearing aids?
Here are 5 tips to convince a parent to get a hearing aid:
1) Share the latest research. Cite this recent study from Columbia University Medical Center to explain the critical loss of brain power if hearing aids are put off.
2) Discuss technology. Talk with your parent about how far hearing aid technology has come in recent years. Sound and comfort quality have greatly improved and bulky buttons and dials are a thing of the past. Most importantly, hearing aids are extremely small and unnoticeable. Your parent needs to understand these are no longer the hearing aids their grandparents wore.
3) Time your moment. Don’t broach the subject while frustrated after repeating something three times to your parent. You want to be calm, cool and collected. They may be on the defensive, so your staying calm is crucial.
4) Go with your parent to the appointment. Discuss the results with your mom or dad and the hearing care professional. With the hearing evaluation data, the professional can make suggestions based on budget and lifestyle. Buy the best option for their specific hearing loss if it is possible. There are major differences internally between hearing aids, which could make a major impact on your parent’s quality of life.
5) Be an Advocate. Hearing aid usage is sometimes a process, and it takes time to adapt to wearing them. As we grow older, we sometimes become less likely to rock the boat. If the hearing aids aren’t right, or if your parent isn’t happy, revisit the hearing care professional to make sure these valuable instruments don’t end up in a drawer somewhere.
Once you get your parent over the roadblocks to wearing hearing aids, it will be a very rewarding experience for them and their loved ones. They will be glad they took the time to seek better hearing.