It’s a common concern, and slight irritation, among family members: their aging parent refuses to wear their hearing aid. If it helps at all, you’re not alone. Over 26 million Americans over the age of 50 have some degree of hearing loss and yet only about 14 percent actually wear hearing aids.
What’s the Problem?
In many instances, it’s a case of denial. Just because they can’t hear you, or anyone else, doesn’t mean their hearing is that bad. If you would just stop mumbling, they could hear you. Right? In other cases, it’s vanity that keeps them from going to the audiologist. They remember the days of giant hearing aids that were half the size of an ear and obvious to anyone looking. They may also have tried a hearing aid at one time, back in the day of the dinosaur hearing aid, when all background noises drowned out the speaker or there was an incessant squeeking in their ear. Fortunately, times have changed.
Another area of concern that they may not readily discuss with their family members is the high cost of hearing aids which can run anywhere from $1,500 to almost $7,000. The good news is that audiologists will often work with your parent to set up an affordable payment plan.
If your parent is not willing to listen to their family members, they may be open to hearing what their physician has to say. Set up an appointment with their primary health care provider who is often more than willing to make a recommendation to visit the audiologist, an appointment that should be scheduled every two years for your aging parent.
The World of Hearing Aids Today
Once your parent understands the remarkable changes that have transpired in the world of hearing aids, they’ll wonder why they didn’t wear one sooner. Many models are so small that no one talking to your parent can even see them. Most have directed hearing that adjusts to background noise. And the tech oriented parent should definitely know that most are digital and wireless, connecting to cell phones, TVs and computers!
Helping your Parent Adapt
Your parent will want to take it slow—wear them a bit at a time, just a few hours a day, as they get use to the feeling and the new way they hear. As they progress and can wear them during their waking hours, their brain will slowly acclimate. Have them wear their hearing aid in a quiet room the first day and ask them to keep a written note of any sounds that are bothersome. Introduce people and groups slowly, allowing your parent to get use to differentiating varying background noises. Adjustments by their audiologist can often resolve many of the issues that have kept them from wearing hearing aids in the past.
Senior Care Provider
Some seniors may begin to limit their social outings due to their inability to hear clearly; however, remaining engaged is crucial to their health and well-being. Consider obtaining the services of a senior care provider who can assist with the daily activities of living while providing them with a companion and keeping them engaged.
If you or an aging loved one are considering senior care in Lakewood, NJ, contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care’s Ocean/Monmouth Division. Call today 732-719-7011.
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