Have you ever been in a frustrating situation with your parent due to a hearing situation? Many of us have. Noticing that your parent has hearing loss can be an awkward situation. It may be causing him or her to miss important information or become isolated. You will definitely want to help, but may not know how to go about doing it. Talking with your older parents about their hearing loss can sometimes be a challenge. Here are some tips to make the to make it go easily that the whole family can use:
Learn about hearing loss
Learning about hearing loss and why it might be affecting your family can help you communicate better on it. Most people do not realize how common hearing loss is. About 1 of every 3 adults age 65 or older is living with hearing loss, as it is a normal part of aging. Prepping yourself is the first step in having a productive conversation with your mom or dad. Many people do not know about how many hearing loss solutions are available to help with hearing loss.
Choose the right time to talk about it
Finding the right time to talk is key. Make sure that everyone is relaxed, so that you can really connect. Try to also show your parent that you are genuinely concerned that his or her declining ability to hear might lead to safety issues, like not hearing a fire alarm, or social isolation and depression if not addressed in some way.
Discuss the benefit
When you're helping your parent or family member with hearing loss, focus on the options available to him or her, and keep it simple. Explaining the benefits of how new hearing technology can help the person remain independent and enjoy life may be all the motivation they need.
Build a support team
As we age, addressing hearing loss can be a daunting task. Hearing loss is very common from aging, noise exposure and heredity. There may be other peers in your parents' social circle with similar experiences that may be able to lesson the anxiety for your parent. There are great resources available, such as Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). These groups share tips and helpful suggestions for on how to deal with hearing loss. When you know that you are not alone, it makes things much easier.
Be an advocate for your parent to show them how important their hearing loss is to you. Accompany them to their hearing test appointment is an excellent idea. Taking care of a new health issue takes a lot of courage, and your support can be a great source of comfort to help them address their hearing loss.
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