May is Better Hearing and Speech Month. For some, it is the ideal month to get a hearing assessment or schedule that diagnostic follow-up. For others, it may be the perfect time to reach out to the loved ones in their lives — their parents, close friends, and relatives — to help give them the gift of better hearing.
Talking to parents about hearing loss – and whether they need hearing aids or not – can be hard, but the quality of life improvement a single hearing assessment can provide is worth what might be a difficult conversation. So, what should you say? How can you bring it up?
Benefits of Hearing Help
1. Hearing is all about the future. If your parents take care of their hearing now, they will benefit down the line.
2. Hearing aids will not just improve the way they hear the world, but how they experience it. They’ll interact with more sound, perceive more information, understand what people are saying to a much greater degree.
3. Their self-image will improve. They’ll be better able to reconnect with old friends and join in conversations. If they’ve been feeling left out or isolated, hearing assistance can help bring them back.
4. Hearing healthcare and devices are getting better every year. There’s no reason to think of hearing aids as obtrusive or outdated. Today’s aids are better designed and more easily connected to the devices already in their lives.
5. Hearing aids can protect against cognitive decline and can strengthen brain training, or the ability to comprehend speech against background noise.
Tips for the Talk
1. Make an event out of it. Mother’s Day is this May. Father’s Day is in June. Sitting down to talk, maybe with some brochures, could end up being a thoughtful gift.
2. Start small and work your way up. Urgency is important when dealing with hearing issues, but don’t push too hard, too fast. Being fitted for aids can be a big step in someone’s life.
3. Ask them to take an online hearing test.
4. Find a hearing center. Some offices may have open-house demonstrations and offer no-risk trials.
5. Accompany them to their appointment. Ask questions and take notes. Your personal engagement could help ease them into this new stage of life.
For Mother’s (and Father’s) Day
Helping your parents with their hearing loss could end up being a needed change in their lives. Just as they were there for you growing up, you can be there for them now, helping keep their world full of sound, meaning, and joy.
If your parents are due for a hearing assessment or need hearing aids, there is no better time than Better Hearing & Speech Month. There is no better time than the present for talking to your parents about hearing loss.