Many of you would argue sense of sight is more important than sense of hearing. Just think of all the people you know that wear glasses, contact lenses, or have had Lasik. Now think of Grandpa. You might know, or suspect, Grandpa has hearing loss, but no way will he get hearing aids! Why, you ask? What’s the big deal? Keep reading and find out!
Grandpa won’t get hearing aids because in his mind, he doesn’t think his hearing is that bad. Grandpa has likely been losing a bit of his hearing every day for the last 20 to 40 years. So, to him, it’s normal! HIS normal.
Humans are masters of adapting and compensating. When Grandpa can’t hear something, he turns it up, asks people to repeat themselves and speak louder, or just ignores them altogether. However, this only works for so long without consequences. Keep reading.
Because Grandpa is adapting and compensating quite well, it’s probably very hard for him to believe that he has a real hearing problem. When things are outside of his control, he likely blames others for his lack of hearing. “This restaurant is too loud!”, “You mumble!”, “It’s not that I can’t hear them, I can’t understand them!”. Sound familiar?
Research has shown that denial of hearing loss is common and without consequence among seniors. While a mild to moderate hearing loss can be manageable, the long-term consequences of an untreated hearing loss can be severe. Grandpa’s untreated hearing loss puts him at higher risk for cognitive decline, dementia, depression, and social isolation.
And as much as Grandpa might not want to admit it, there’s a good chance Grandpa doesn’t want hearing aids because he’s afraid they will make him look old. He probably remembers those big chunky hearing aids that his grandfather used to wear – in 1950 ... But I bet Grandpa wears glasses, doesn’t he?
Isn’t it funny? As our sight diminishes with age, we wear glasses. Yet, even in the year 2020, a time when hearing aids are as discrete and advanced as ever and a time when trendy ear-level tech gadgets like hearables and AirPods exist, we still worry that hearing aids are going to make us look old.
Sorry Grandpa! No one is looking that closely at you! And if they are, they’re definitely not looking at your ears. But here are some things that ARE making Grandpa look old:
- Mishearing and asking for repetition
- Bluffing - Nodding in agreement to things not heard to seemingly keep up with a conversation.
- Seeming detached and uninvolved
- Seeming tired all the time - Because straining to hear and filling in the gaps is EXHAUSTING!!!
- Seeming forgetful – Because we can’t remember what we have not heard in the first place!
And finally ... Cost
In Grandpa’s day, he could have bought a used car, maybe two, for the same price as a set of hearing aids! But what Grandpa might not realize is that he is not JUST buying a pair of hearing aids. And Grandpa is not alone! Most people have no idea what is included in the cost of hearing aids.
When you break down the cost of hearing aids and the included services from your certified audiologist over a three- to five-year span, the cost of better hearing is quite manageable for most. If only we had a dollar for every time a new patient exclaims “I wish I did this sooner!” … It happens more than you think!
Some final words of wisdom ...
So, there you have it! Reasons why Grandpa won’t get hearing aids. And maybe for you it isn’t Grandpa. Maybe it’s Grandma, Dad, Mom, your husband, your wife, or even yourself! These reasons apply to everyone.
My advice to whomever is seeking it is this: Knowledge is power!
At the very least, “Grandpa” should book a hearing test with one of our certified audiologists to see if he even needs hearing aids. He might be surprised to find out that his hearing is not as bad as he, or you, think it is.
And if “Grandpa” does end up needing hearing aids, our certified audiologists will be there to guide him every step of the way and at his own pace. Plus, we offer complimentary hearing aid consultations and complimentary take-home hearing aid demos to those interested. This way Grandpa can see what becoming a hearing aid user is all about before taking the plunge!