When someone you care about suffers unaddressed hearing loss, this can create an incredibly frustrating situation for both you and your loved one.
Whether it’s your spouse, mother, father, grandparent, or close friend — it can be difficult and painful to watch your loved one struggle needlessly. Hearing loss can create embarrassing public situations, make private conversations more complicated, and affect relationships and intimacy.
If your loved one is struggling with hearing loss, hearing aids are a powerful tool that can make an incredible difference in their life. Let’s explore some of the main challenges with discussing hearing loss — and how you can get a loved one to consider hearing aids despite those challenges.
The Main Challenges with Discussing Hearing Loss
In the United States, 1 in 8 people over the age of 12 have hearing loss in both ears. Despite how common this condition is, only around 17% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69 who need hearing aids use them. For those over 70, the percentage only goes up to 30%.
It’s clear from these startling statistics that there are challenges to overcome when discussing and treating hearing loss. Here are some that you may encounter with your loved one:
- Your loved one doesn’t notice the issue. Though some individuals are born with hearing difficulties, for many people hearing decreases gradually over time and with age. Although you may see that your loved one turns the TV volume up too high and asks others to repeat themselves frequently, these signs may not have occurred to your loved one.
- Your loved one is embarrassed. Let’s face it: admitting that we need extra help can be difficult for some. Many people may associate hearing loss with aging, and won’t want to accept or acknowledge that they’re experiencing challenges. As a spouse, child, or friend, it can be challenging to broach the subject without injuring your loved one’s pride.
- Your loved one doesn’t know where to seek help. To treat hearing loss, you need to find a specialist. If your loved one is currently navigating stresses in everyday life or other health conditions, seeking a specialist might present a seemingly impossible challenge. They may not know where to turn for help, and will, therefore, choose to tolerate the problem.
5 Things You Can Do to Help a Loved One Consider Hearing Aids
Despite the challenges, there are a few simple things you can do to help your loved one consider hearing aids:
1. Recommend a Specialist — Not a Hearing Aid
Though it can be tempting, telling your loved one that they need a hearing aid may not be the most effective way to start the conversation. For one thing, they might not need hearing aids! Hearing loss that is attributed to conditions like chronic ear infections may require different treatment altogether.
To make sure that you and your loved one are getting the help you need, seek a specialist who can issue a hearing assessment. A professional hearing test will determine if hearing aids are the right solution for your loved one.
2. Show Them a Modern Hearing Aid
Your loved one may have an outdated impression of what a hearing aid looks like. If they imagine the large, clunky hearing aids of the past, then it’s no wonder that they might hesitate to seek a specialist for a hearing test.
To mediate their concerns, show them an example of a modern hearing aid and highlight the incredible advancements in hearing aid technology. Nowadays, hearing aids are tiny and offer invisible ITC (In-The-Canal) options that are custom-made to fit your loved one’s ear canal.
3. Offer to Help Financially
Finances can get in the way of seeking help. If your loved one fears that hearing aids are overpriced or out of their budget, offer to help them financially by:
- Helping them research options to lease hearing aids
- Looking into financing options that allow for low monthly payments
- Offering to contribute a portion of the expense
4. Show Statistics & Research
If your loved one is resistant to the idea of hearing aids because they feel embarrassed about their hearing loss, then it might make a difference to show them they’re not alone.
For example, you could let them know that they’re only one of a whopping 28.8 million U.S. adults who could benefit from using hearing aids. Sometimes, hearing that they are not alone in their challenges can help your loved one seek help.
5. Highlight the Benefits
For some people, a sense of apathy discourages them from seeking hearing aids. They may have gotten used to the idea of decreased hearing, and don’t see the point of seeking help. If this is the case for your loved one, encourage them by highlighting the many benefits of better hearing:
- Make conversations less awkward and more pleasurable
- Have more fun and feel more involved in crowded social gatherings
- Reduce the exhaustion associated with having to strain to hear anything
- Decrease the need to turn up the TV and radio continually
Talk to our Specialists
Clear and compassionate communication can work wonders towards helping your loved one seeking hearing aids. Whether they are experiencing sudden or gradual hearing loss, the caring professionals at Celestial Hearing Solutions are here to help.
We would be happy to have a no-obligation phone call with you or your loved one to answer any questions, offer our expertise, and make some recommendations. Want to learn more? Please contact us today or request a callback.
Paula C. Rogers, BC-HIS is a Board Certified Hearing Instrument Specialist and has been helping people to restore and care for their hearing health for over 30 years. You’ll experience the warmth and loving care of Paula and her team who will become your hearing care partners for life at their Las Cruces Hearing Center.