How to Talk to a Loved One about Hearing Loss | Preferred Hearing
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East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

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East Orlando, FL

South Orlando, FL

Winter Springs, FL

How to open the conversation about hearing loss

If a loved one has hearing loss, it can be difficult for the whole family. Perhaps your parent gets upset that they can’t understand what’s going on, or your kids are annoyed they have to repeat themselves so much around grandma. One in three Americans over the age of 65 has hearing loss, so there’s a good chance you are close to someone with hearing loss.

It is estimated that people wait an average of five to seven years from the time they first notice changes in their hearing until they decide to seek treatment. It is important to address hearing loss as soon as possible! Here are some tips to help you have a productive discussion and explore treatment options.

Your Loved One and Hearing Loss – Know the Signs

Before bringing up the topic of hearing loss, know the signs of hearing loss and approach the topic with confidence. Common signs of hearing loss include asking people to repeat themselves, thinking everyone else is mumbling, or responding incorrectly to comments because they haven’t understood the words. Hearing gets much worse in large groups or in noisy environments like crowded restaurants and these situations lead to confusion for someone with hearing loss. Another clear sign of hearing loss is turning up the volume too high on the phone or TV. You may find more information online, with resources at the Hearing Loss Association of America (hearingloss.org) and the American Speech Language Hearing Association (asha.org).

Dealing with Denial

It’s possible you’ll meet some resistance when you bring up the topic of hearing loss. Because hearing loss still is somewhat a taboo subject, your loved one will probably try to avoid the conversation. Since hearing loss is gradual, they may not realize just how much their hearing has deteriorated, or the impact their hearing loss is having on themselves and on the family. It’s likely they will be upset or even defensive. Be gentle but firm. Early intervention is the key to adjusting to hearing aids and getting all the benefits from healthy hearing.

What Words to Use, and What Words to Avoid

Facing hearing loss can be scary. Your loved one may be feeling isolated or anxious. Certain words can calm them, and let them know you care about them.

Always use “I” statements so that you don’t sound accusatory. Say “I notice you didn’t hear the phone ring” rather than saying “you didn’t hear the phone”. This creates support, putting yourself into the situation with them and keeping it neutral. Your loved one won’t feel as if you are attacking them.

Avoid the negatives. When talking about hearing loss, discuss the improvements hearing aids will bring to their lives. Talk about hearing birds chirping, being able to play with the grandkids again, and following conversations when you go out to dinner. Do you know anyone else who has hearing aids? What impact has it had in their life? Early treatment of hearing loss allows your loved one to be fully engaged with the family, keeps them active and alert, and slows the onset of dementia.

Safety Issues

Being able to hear isn’t just about easy conversations. It’s also about safety. Remind your loved one how dangerous it can be to miss the stove timer or fire alarm. Driving and even walking is unsafe when you can’t hear what’s happening around you

New Technology

Hearing aids of today are sleek and discreet. Your loved one may be imagining a cumbersome hearing aid that will draw attention to their hearing loss. Show your loved one some of the new hearing aid designs, and talk about the selection of colors that will match to skin and hair tones. Not responding when your name is called is a far more obvious sign of hearing loss than a barely noticeable hearing aid

The Next Step

Now that you’ve discussed hearing loss, it’s time to book an appointment for a hearing test. Leave materials for your loved one to read about hearing loss and hearing aid options. Reassure them that you will support them through every step of the process! On average, people with hearing loss wait five to seven years before getting hearing aids! Think of all the things your loved one will be missing in that time. Don’t wait. Book an appointment with us at Preferred Hearing Centers today.

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I cannot say enough excellent things about Jaycee and Barbara at Preferred Hearing. The staff is so kind and Jaycee took a lot of time with me to be sure I understood every test and reviewing all my options for hearing devices. I’ve only had my hearing aids one week, but it’s been a life changing week! Best decision I ever made coming to Preferred Hearing. (I am 80 years young again) - Mary Ann A. mary ann a review

Great team at the Winter Springs office. Knowledgeable, professional, friendly, outgoing and that's just the beginning. Barbara at the front desk is a sweetheart. Jaysee is THE professional you want to adjust your hearing aids. He can translate your hearing issues into adjustments that work. Highly recommend this group Hearing Professionals.

- Thomas K.
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I was impressed with the great detail of the hearing examination. I was a little skeptical about hearing aids but the staff is very professional and very experienced. I purchased a great set of hearing aids that have changed my life so I can hear so much better! They did not try to upsell me or sell me a pair that was extra expensive. They only showed me what I needed for my hearing aids. I highly recommend Preferred Hearing Centers!

- Hank K.
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I had been with another hearing center and was not getting help with my profound hearing loss. In a last try I went to Preferred Hearing. The hearing testtng was more extensive than Florida Hospital audiologist! My problem was documented and corrected with streaming bluetooth hearing aids. It has made my life so much more fun again. I can watch TV with other humans without the volume blowing them out of the room. I can go to dinner with friends and hear them talking. Highly recommend to anyone with hearing loss!

- Alexis G.
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*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Preferred Hearing Centers. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.

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