You know your parents need a Hearing Aid, but they think it’s not required. Use of hearing aids for elders is necessary but convincing seniors to use them can be a difficult task. It’s a tricky situation where the elders are reluctant and we know that using them can be a great help for hearing impaired seniors. One has to understand their mind set and ideas, understanding them will make it easy for us to convince them. So how do you convince your parents? The helpful tips below to convince them to use Hearing aids will come in handy and make your task easier.
Mentioned below are the most common reasons for their reluctance. And the 5 helpful tips on convincing your parents to use Hearing Aids.
1. I Don’t Need A Hearing Aid, I Can Hear Fine
The most common reason is denial, they do not want to accept the fact that their hearing is becoming weak. It starts with blaming others, statements like “You do not speak well.” or “why don’t you open your mouth and talk” are common. My father used to blame the phone “this phone is bad, can’t you get me a better instrument?”.
They are not totally at fault. Mostly, the elderly suffer from Sensorineural Hearing Loss. It is the gradual weakening of the hearing system consisting of nerves and hair cells. Since the hearing loss is very gradual, they do not realise that they are suffering from Hearing loss.
Tip 1- To Convince Them That Hearing Aids For Elders Are Necessary
Whenever elders mention that you are not speaking clearly, explain to them that you are speaking loud enough. Wait for the right opportunity to prove your point. The opportunity might come when they miss out on an important family discussion. Or, when they might miss the dialogues of their favourite TV program. Request them to answer this Simple Questionnaire which will help you and them to make a rough guess.
The answer to the questionnaire will determine the extent of the hearing loss. And if it indicates a Hearing Loss, a professional opinion should be sought. Please consult a ENT doctor or an Audiologist at the earliest.
How Do I Convince My Parents To Visit The Audiologist?
Your Parents will be a little anxious to visit a medical professional. An appropriate explanation of the test is essential before visiting an Audiologist. Once your parents are convinced about the ease and simplicity of the test, they will be relaxed. Elders must know that this test is as simple as taking an eye test. The Audiologist conducts an audiometry test to determine the severity and type of Hearing Loss. After the test, discuss with the Audiologist, and take advice on the requirement of the type of Hearing Aid for old age.
2. Stigma Associated With The Word Deaf
Some of the elders who are active among the senior’s club or associations do not want anyone calling them deaf. If no one in their social circle uses a Hearing Aid, they do not want to be the first to start using one. “Why do I need them? None of my friends use a Hearing Aid” is a common comment.
Tip 2 – To Convince Elders That Age Related Deafness Is Natural
An explanation of the hearing loss associated with age is also very essential. The extent of loss varies from person to person and may not affect two people to the same extent. The signs and symptoms of hearing loss may differ from one person to another though they may be of the same age. Also, Hearing Loss is as natural as a bad eyesight. If we can wear spectacles all the time why not Hearing Aids?
3. The Hearing Aid Is Too Big And Inconvenient.
Some years back the Body level or Pocket model Hearing Aids were big and bulky. These hearing aids used clips to attach to the pocket. The wire from the Hearing aid in the pocket led to the ear where the Receiver (Speaker) is attached. The inconvenience was a genuine concern.
Tip 3 – To Convince Elders That Technology Has Reduced The Size Of Hearing Aids
Parents worry about the size of the hearing aid and do not want people judging them with that device on their ear. You must guide them about the evolution of technology. Digital Hearing Aid technology has improved a lot over the years. Currently, the available digital hearing aids for older adults are very small and are barely visible. Show them pictures of RIC, ITC, CIC and IIC Hearing Aids.
As they say, hiding a Hearing Aid is easier than hiding a Hearing loss. Furthermore. With the advancement of technology hiding a hearing aid is not difficult.
4. The Cost Factor
Elders always worry about the expenses including medical expenses. Medical expenses can be a worry for people who do not have medical insurance. Some countries do not have the Government benefit of free medical insurance for the elderly people. Seniors are reluctant to dip into their savings or depend on their children. As a result, they avoid going to the audiologist and the hearing hearing loss worsens or increases.
Tip – 4 To Convince Your Parents That Hearing Aids are Affordable
It is our responsibility to convince our parents that they are not a burden or a liability on us. Hearing Aids are available at affordable prices with excellent features. One must study the features before selecting the best hearing aids for older adult depending on their lifestyle. Many countries offer a subsidy or free Hearing Aids for senior citizens and the needy.
5. Sound Quality Of The Hearing Aids
The elderly generally discuss their problems with each other in their social groups. They may come across some negative opinions on the use of Hearing Aids. The 2 most common complaints are
- Unintelligible speech or can they hear the speech but cannot understand the words.
- The second complaint is about the excessive or too much noise from the Hearing aids which leads to a headache. This headache increases stress.
Tip 5 – To Convince Elders That Hearing Aid Sound Quality Has Improved
These reasons were genuine to some extent. The reasons for intolerable noise and unintelligible speech was true with the old analogue technology. The earlier technology had limited setting or tuning features. Current Digital Hearing Aids offer special features to reduce background noise. These devices enhance speech using microprocessors thus helping in better hearing. Digital Hearing Aid technology also allows precise settings for the needs and comfort of the user. A trained Audiologist programs or sets the features of the Hearing Aids keeping the specific needs of the user in mind. This tuned hearing device helps deliver natural and comfortable sound to the user.
Scientific studies prove that using Hearing Aids makes people healthy and happy. The elders withdraw from family discussions and social interactions due to their inability to hear. This withdrawal leads to depression and even Alzheimer’s disease in some cases.
Use of hearing aids for elders have many advantages, it will make them less dependent on others. Tell them about the quality time they can share with the family and grandchildren and they can enjoy watching their favourite TV programs. So, we as children have to be very patient, caring, loving and a support system for our parents.