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Tips for Encouraging a Loved One to Get a Hearing Aid

Updated: Feb 29

By Carolyn Stern, CHC's Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives


In honor of World Hearing Day (3/3/24), CHC presents a series of posts on the topic of hearing loss and stigma—perspectives by CHC professionals, a hearing access advocate, and a CHC client to help us better understand misconceptions and inspire positive change.


Make Compassion Your Guiding Principle


Headshot of Carolyn Stern a professional at the Center for Hearing and Communication
Carolyn Stern, Director of Outreach and Strategic Initiatives

We understand that convincing a loved one to get a hearing aid is not easy, especially if there is resistance. Being understanding of their concerns and providing emotional support can go a long way toward enhancing their willingness to give hearing aids a try.


As a member of the CHC community, you likely know that untreated hearing loss can put older individuals at greater risk of cognitive decline, falls, social isolation and depression. Be sure your loved one knows the health risks of neglecting a hearing loss and the health benefits of treating hearing loss with hearing aids. Simply knowing these facts can be highly motivating.


With compassion as a guiding principle, here is CHC's Tips for Encouraging a Loved One to Get a Hearing Aid.


CHC's Top Tips

 

Encourage Talking


Make sure your loved one knows they can talk to you about their hearing problems without feeling judgment. For some, it is a very sensitive topic because of the negative views of hearing aids as a sign of aging, a decline or weakness. Listen carefully and try to understand how they're feeling.

 

Learn Together


Find out more about hearing loss and today’s advanced hearing aid technology that work significantly better than those of long ago. Try to meet others who can share their experiences. This may help lessen the feeling that they’re the only one and that hearing aids can help.

 

Show Compassion


Two persons' hands are joined in a sign of compassion

Accepting hearing loss is hard and can take time. Be patient, compassionate and kind. Let your loved one know you're there for them no matter how long it takes. Surveys indicate it can take between 5 and 10 years for a person to take action once receiving a diagnosis.

 

Share How it Impacts You


Your loved one might be more open to a hearing aid if they knew how much the hearing loss impacts you. Share specific examples using “I” statements like “I was worried for our safety when you didn’t hear the cooking timer.” Or “I feel badly when you are not able to keep up with the family dinner conversation.”  

 

Find Solutions Together


Consider getting a hearing test together so they feel supported. Getting a baseline is important and it’s an objective measure of a person’s functioning in the day to day with understanding words at an average sound level and in background noise. The actual experience can be eye opening and may motivate them to take the next step. Learn from the audiologist what can help.

 

Take Small Steps


If you’re finding there’s too much resistance, take small steps. CHC's online hearing screening can show how much of an issue actually exists. If a hearing aid is too big of a step, consider solving a pain point like hearing phone calls better with a captioning app or phone; or for a better TV experience try a wireless headset. Once they see progress, they may be ready for exploring a hearing aid.

 

What to Expect from Your Audiologist


Headshot of CHC's Audiology Director Michele DiStefano
Michele DiStefano, CHC's Director of Audiology

It’s difficult to take that first step, but when ready, CHC is here to assist you with first-rate clinical expertise, resources and emotional support. Whether seeking services at CHC or elsewhere in your community, here are some tips to keep in mind from Dr. Michele DiStefano, CHC’s Director of Audiology:


  1. Your Audiologist - Pick a certified, licensed audiologist to guide you, who focuses on your communication needs as a whole, learns about your hearing health needs and addresses all of your concerns with patience.

  2. Hearing Technology - Ensure there’s a wide selection of hearing aid options and price points to choose from and a clear trial period.

  3. Verification - To make sure you're getting the maximum benefit from your hearing aids, your audiologist will test you in the test booth with the new hearing aids to determine how well you are performing with them (a process know as verification).

  4. Know the Terms - Understand the return and warranty policy and how repairs are handled.

  5. Assistive Technology - Learn about assistive devices and apps that can help with your hearing success.


Addressing hearing loss proactively through solutions like hearing aids not only mitigates these negative health implications but also promotes overall well-being, improved communication, and a better quality of life for individuals and their loved ones.


CHC is here to help you navigate and find the best solutions.



Contact the Author


If you have questions or comments to share with the author, you can contact Carolyn Stern at cgstern@chchearing.org.



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