If your loved one has taken a step toward getting hearing aids, the biggest hurdle has already been crossed! Some people can be hesitant to seek aids for a number of reasons, and simply acknowledging the need for hearing aids is a move in the right direction. However, there are many things that can make the process from the first meeting to adoption of hearing assistance a challenge. Let’s consider some basic tips that you can keep in mind to make the selection of hearing aids easier on your loved one and to ensure that you make the right choice.
Offer Moral Support
Your loved one might want to go through the process of seeking hearing aids alone. Sometimes it feels like a private process and some people are hesitant to disclose their hearing loss to others. If you can encourage your loved one to accept your moral support, it can be a crucial benefit to the process of selection. In the first place, you will be able to encourage your loved one and make the meetings a more pleasant encounter. In a very practical sense, it is helpful to have someone along to remember important questions to ask and to take note of the many details that are presented. When you attend the consultation with your loved one, bring along a notebook with a list of questions. Also take note of any important details that are conveyed to you. Although your hearing health professional will most likely give you these details in writing, it can be helpful to take note of these facts in your own hand.
Describe Lifestyle Details
All hearing aids are not created equal! During your initial consultation, be sure to mention any details of your loved one’s lifestyle that might be relevant to the selection of hearing aids. Each person with hearing loss has a unique profile of hearing needs. Some have trouble understanding conversations, while others only struggle to hear in noisy restaurants and events. As well, hobbies and activities can be paired with special features. The latest hearing aid technology can be suited to active lifestyles and even some outdoor activities that will expose the aids to the elements. Those who would like to use their hearing aids with devices such as television, smartphone, and media players can even get Bluetooth connectivity directly to hearing aids. Travelers may be interested in hearing aids with rechargeable batteries, as well. Take stock of these lifestyle features prior to attending the consultation, and you might be surprised with the range of possibilities in current devices on the market.
Understand The Test
The hearing test is a simple, painless, and quick examination, yet it can be daunting for some people with hearing loss. In most cases, the test will simply involve an examiner playing tones through headphones and asking your loved one to indicate when they can hear something. Although the test is easy, interpreting the results can require some finesse. Your hearing health professional can give the details of which ranges of hearing are most difficult for your loved one, but you can learn to read the results in the audiogram, as well, if you are interested. In either case, it is important to know the details of which listening environment will be most challenging for your loved one, enabling you to be supportive when it is most necessary and to offer accommodations to make communication easier.
Assist With Training
Hearing aids can offer a remarkable improvement to our lives, but that improvement may not be immediate. Most hearing aids have a learning curve. Unlike eyeglasses, hearing aids do not suddenly clarify the sensory environment. The adjustment process can require time and patience, and your support will be essential to ensuring that your loved one continues to use the aids consistently. Your hearing health professional can also offer training and ongoing consultation for those who have a rocky start with their hearing aids. Take the time to help your loved one insert and remove the aids repeatedly. If they seem difficult to manipulate at first, a little practice can work wonders, even for those who have challenges with manual dexterity or arthritis.