Oakland Press: How to get your loved one to listen to you

Oakland Press, Senior Living News.
“How to get your loved one to listen to you” (PDF)
Published on November 28, 2010

How to get your loved one to listen to you

If you must constantly repeat your side of a conversation, turn up the volume on the radio or TV at the request of others, or hear yourself being shouted at, you may have a loved on in need of a hearing aid.

Hearing loss affects 36 million Americans, and when left untreated, it can lead to depression, anxiety, paranoia and isolation, according to The National Council on Aging.

But it can be very difficult to convince people to take a hearing test and find out if they need a hearing aid. And you may unknowingly be an enabler. Here are some tips from the Better Hearing Institute to determine if you are enabling a person to not get his or her potential hearing loss checked out:

Don’t repeat yourself. When you are asked to repeat something, make an indicator – like saying “one time only” before restating the information – to point out to your loved on how frequently he or she is missing part of the conversation.

Keep your voice volume at a normal level. This prevents you from stressing your throat and vocal cords.

Avoid translating conversation for your loved one in person and on the phone. When she struggles to understand what the other person is saying, it can become more obvious that she may need hearing help.

Many people don’t look for a solution because they don’t realize they have a problem. Others don’t pursue a solution like hearing aids because they don’t want to pay for customized hearing aids on their own. Medicare and most insurance policies also don’t cover hearing aids, and the average cost of a single hearing aid is almost $2,000.

“Until now, people either had to spend thousands of dollars out of their own pockets to receive the clarity they need on hearing aids, or they were going without,” says Dr. Sreekant Cherukuri, an ear, nose, and throat doctor and an attending physician in otolaryngology in Michigan City, Ind. After having to turn away patients who couldn’t afford expensive customized hearing aids, Dr. Cherukuri researched and developed the MDHearingAid, which provides the clarity people are looking for at a much lower cost than customized hearing aids.

“Hearing loss is a huge quality of life issue. As a physician, I did not want to turn away another patient with hearing loss who could not afford a hearing aid,” Cherukuri says. “Unfortunately, too many people are in need of hearing aids who have mild to moderate hearing loss. They should look for the best hearing aid they can afford. We are offering them a good quality, lower priced option that is under $200, making cost one less reason for people not to get them.