Ask the Hearing Doctor
Question: Dr. Decelles, how do I even begin to approach someone who needs hearing aids about this sensitive subject? I have a friend who can’t hear like she used to and I know she’d benefit from hearing aids, but I’m worried the conversation won’t go well.
Answer: Hearing loss can be a sensitive subject but it sounds like you care for your friend and want her to have a great quality of life. Discussing issues that involve health and aging are never easy, but they are necessary.
Here are 7 tips for how to start the conversation about hearing loss and the potential need for hearing aids:
- Start with empathy. You may find yourself in this situation one day so think about how you’d like to be approached. Prepare to focus on positives and offer yourself as a caring resource and advocate.
- Pick your moment carefully. Avoid starting this dialogue during stressful times or when other issues have their attention. When the time is right, create an optimal setting by turning off the TV and silencing cell phones.
- Just the facts. Share what you observe and cite examples. Avoid any statements that could be seen as judgmental. Instead, state how the situation could be improved and reassure the person that you are bringing this to their attention because you want the best for them.
- Focus on the positives (and prepare for objections). Technology has changed and hearing aids are better than ever. Units with rechargeable batteries are available as are invisible, in-ear devices. Standard hearing aids have also evolved to help even more with diminished or lost hearing.
- They’re not alone. Discuss how this happens to people of different ages, backgrounds, etc. If you know someone who wears hearing aids, cite them as an example of a life changed for the better.
- Note that an annual hearing test is advised for everyone. Some concerns can be caught early and treated, so it’s a best practice to have an annual exam. Offer to have your hearing tested with them.
- Call your local audiologist or hearing professional for help. If you have questions or just need an idea of possible solutions, we can help. Our exams are at no-cost, we sell most major brands of hearing aids, and we have decades of experience.
Call St. Luke’s Hearing Services Department today at 888-652-0555 and we’ll be glad to answer any questions you may have about hearing aids or hearing health.