Helping an Older Loved One Adapt to Hearing Aids

Many people start to lose their hearing when they reach a certain age. Luckily, there are now hearing aids that can quite comfortably and conveniently help those with hearing loss continue to hear. However, adapting to hearing aids can take a little time, especially for older adults. If an older person in your life needs hearing aids or has recently gotten them, here are some ways you can help them adapt.

Make a fitting appointment.

If your loved one has not already had a fitting appointment with a hearing specialist, make such an appointment for them and make sure they get there. Hearing aids are endlessly more comfortable when they fit properly. The way they are positioned in the ears also affects how well someone hears. Adjustments are hard to make on your own and are best made by a specialist.

Speak softly around them.

The sound that is amplified through a hearing aid does not sound exactly like it sounds naturally. It can be a little jarring for someone when they are first adapting to hearing aids. Loud noises may be a bit overwhelming. So, when you are around your loved one, speak softly for the time being. Tell them to let you know whether they need you to speak up. This way, they feel in control of your volume and are less likely to be overwhelmed by your voice.

Watch some of their favorite shows with them.

At first, your loved one may not want to go out in public with their hearing aids since sound coming from multiple sources can be a bit overwhelming. But watching TV can be a good way to get used to their hearing aids without embarrassment or having to be around others. Volunteer to watch some of your loved one's favorite shows with them, and help them adjust the TV volume to the level they now need.

Don't pressure them to wear the hearing aids 24/7.

Sometimes, a well-meaning relative will say things like "why don't you have your hearing aids on?" or "you should wear your hearing aids." It's okay to gently ask how adapting to the hearing aids is going, but don't pressure your loved one to wear them 24/7, right off the bat. Most people do best wearing them for just a few hours a day at first and working their way up from there.

With these tips, you can help your loved one better adapt, and that's better for the both of you.

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