Six Strategies to Increase Communication with Individuals with Hearing Loss
The number of people suffering from hearing loss across the U.S. stands at around 14%. Sadly, this figure is increasing constantly as we continue to work in much noisier environments and live longer, which allows an extended period of time for hearing loss problems to present themselves.
These hearing problems are being widely reported by family members, medical professionals, and Caregivers for seniors receiving in-home care in Vacaville. What can we do to try and ease the problems associated with hearing loss? These six strategies may help:
- Get Attention
If you are trying to communicate with a loved one, then ensure that he or she knows you are talking first. It sounds obvious, but we are used to starting a conversations without directly notifying the person listening. It’s easy to forget that sound itself may not stimulate a response. Getting a person’s attention so he or she knows you are speaking is an important first step.
- Move Closer
If you are trying to speak to someone who suffers from hearing loss, gone are the days when you can start a conversation from another room or even with your back to him or her. You will need to actually walk over to the person you want to speak to. If you are facing a person with hearing problems, it is far more likely that he or she will be able to pick up on visual cues that may give him or her an idea of what you are asking or saying.
- Slow Down Your Speech
When dealing with a person suffering from hearing loss, it will help greatly if you slow down your speech and enunciate carefully. Recall is improved if the rate of speech is slowed.
- Announce the Topic
It may seem like a strange thing to do, but make sure the person you are talking to is aware of the subject matter from the beginning. It will help with his or her understanding if the topic is clearly stated.
- Rephrase Sentences
Repeating things or saying them louder will not always help with understanding. Often, if you are able to start again and say things in a different way, it could ultimately help with the listener’s understanding.
- Create Keywords
Agree on some keywords and phrases that can be recognized and associated with certain subjects. Try not to use general terms or ones that are nonspecific in order to avoid potential misunderstandings.