Encouraging Hearing Aid Use Improves Compliance and Satisfaction

Older couple smiling

Encourage senior conpliance with hearing aid use to improve health and happiness

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communications Disorders, nearly half of seniors over the age of 75 have significant hearing loss - but only around 30% of them use their hearing aids as directed. Why is compliance with hearing aid use so low among seniors?

The top reasons seniors resist using their hearing aids typically include these four:

  1. Uncomfortable fit. If the hearing aids have not been properly fitted, or your parent has not been shown how to properly insert or adjust them, discomfort can lead to them not wanting to bother with their hearing aids.
  2. Inconsistent sound. If the hearing aids have not been properly configured and the settings tailored to your parents' needs, the resulting white noise, whistling feedback, and other issues can make them decide their hearing aids cause more problems than they solve.
  3. Unsightly appearance. If the hearing aid is large and visible, your loved one may resist wearing their aids when they need them because they are worried about what other people will think or say.
  4. Maintenance difficulties. If a senior isn't shown how to properly care for, store, and maintain their hearing aids, they may become afraid to wear them for fear they will break, become clogged with wax, or get lost.

All of the above reasons for not using hearing aids can be overcome by loved ones and professionals who gently encourage and educate seniors on the benefits of hearing aid use. Ensuring that hearing aids are properly fitted and configured and showing seniors how to maintain them properly are big factors in hearing aid compliance and user satisfaction.

In addition, treating hearing loss can help preserve cognitive function, enhance social interactions, help fight depression and anxiety, and lead to stronger mental and emotional health. Under diagnosis and under treatment of hearing loss in seniors over the age of 64 appears to be a significant factor in cognitive decline, and may also lead to emotional issues for seniors who start to isolate themselves rather than utilize hearing aids in the face of the many obstacles.

You can help your loved one work through their resistance to hearing aids and coordinate with their hearing health professional to find a solution that works, is comfortable, and delivers quality filtered and clarified sound. Once the use of a hearing aid becomes habitual continued use is more likely and the benefits can begin to add up.

You can help your loved one work through their resistance to hearing aids and coordinate with their hearing health professional to find a solution that works, is comfortable, and delivers quality filtered and clarified sound.