Hearing Tests for Loved Ones
“How do you persuade an older adult to get a hearing test and begin the process? They aren’t in denial, just angry every time anyone brings up the subject.”
This is a common question that Dr. Shannon Parker is asked and a situation that many loved ones deal with when bringing up the subject of hearing loss.
Dr. Parker offers Lunch & Learns to talk about hearing loss and its effect on the body. When hearing loss is left untreated, people have a significantly higher risk to have memory and cognition issues. Hearing is like exercising a muscle. If you don’t use it, you have other problems like increased chance of dementia, slower cognition, and more. This is usually a very convincing point for people who attend, but some people can be resentful or dismissive. In Dr. Parker’s experience, if they are angry then they are NOT ready to accept any amplification or hearing aids.
If a loved one is ready to go see an audiologist, the process might begin by a family member accompanying them to the appointment and start by “checking for wax”. If there is no wax (or wax is removed) we proceed with the hearing test. After the hearing test if there is a treatable hearing loss, we program hearing aids for them to listen to and do some testing while they are wearing the hearing aids to compare to their test without wearing hearing aids.
Another reason it helps to have a family member present is so the patient can hear the difference in the family member’s voice. There is no obligation to purchase hearing aids and most insurance companies cover the cost of a hearing evaluation. The first appointment can be viewed as an “informational session”, however if they do feel there is a difference when wearing devices then they are able to purchase them on the spot.
We hope these tips gives ideas on how to broach the subject about hearing loss with that loved one that needs to hear it. For more information on this subject, to schedule an appointment, or to find out more about attending a Lunch & Learn, please contact Compass Hearing Center in Denver City, Texas.