Six Strategies to Increase Communication with Individuals with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss in the elderly can, unfortunately, be damaging to relationships, especially if someone suffering has not taken steps to seek treatment for it.  Additionally, not being able to communicate leads to social exclusion, which can in turn lead to conditions as serious as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

With the invention of digital hearing aids, there is now help available for everybody suffering from a hearing-related condition.

If you are not yet able to persuade a loved one to seek help for their condition, then it is important that you or a Caregiver, if they have home care in Greensboro, strive to keep him or her talking.  If you are struggling, then consider these strategies:

  • Get Their Attention First

Often, we can be talking away to someone with hearing loss and then pause for a response only to find that he or she was not listening.  This can be terribly frustrating, but remember it’s not your loved one’s fault.  Always make sure he or she is aware that you are speaking before you continue with a conversation.

  • Move Closer

Moving closer to your loved one will also make it much more likely that you will be heard.  He or she may be able to understand better from your lip movements or may know when he or she is expected to speak from your body language.  Don’t rely solely on sounds to keep the conversation going.

  • State the Topic of Conversation

You don’t necessarily need to stand up and announce, “Today we will be discussing…”,  but do make sure the listener is aware of the subject at hand.  This will ensure that he or she gets the context right and will avoid potential misunderstandings.

  • Speak Slowly

The conversational speed of most people is much faster than we realize.  Making a conscious effort to slow down your speech will increase the chances of being understood.

  • Rephrase if Necessary

This is something you can try instead of constantly repeating yourself.  If you explain something in multiple ways, listeners are much more likely to understand than they would be if you repeated the same thing over and over again.

  • Use Familiar Words

Use words your loved one will recognize, and try not to overgeneralize.

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