Six Strategies to Increase Communication with Individuals with Hearing Loss

It has been estimated that fourteen percent of people in the U.S. are currently suffering from some form of hearing difficulties.  This number is expected to rise as more and more seniors seek help for their symptoms and health care professionals find that noise induced hearing problems are increasing.

If you or a loved one receive senior care in Rock Hill and are suffering from the symptoms of hearing loss, then it is important to speak to your Caregiver about your options.

Staying engaged in communication is vital to your health; try the following strategies for speaking to seniors with hearing loss:

  • Get Their Attention Before Speaking

If someone can’t hear properly, then relying on sound as the instigator for the beginning of a conversation is unreasonable.  Make sure you use hand gestures or movements to gain his or her attention before speaking.

  • Decrease the Distance

Don’t speak to your loved one from the other side of a room; walk over to him or her before beginning to talk.  This will increase the likelihood that you are heard, and your loved one will also be able to pick up on body language and facial expressions to help him or her understand when and how to respond.

  • Speak Slowly

Don’t chat away at the same speed you would use in your normal, everyday conversations.  Slow your down, enunciate, and over-pronounce words when necessary.

  • Define the Subject Matter

Introducing the topic that you are going to be talking about may seem a little too formal, but it is important for your loved one to be able to add context to the conversation.  If he or she doesn’t hear every word you are saying, then knowing the subject will make it easier to fill in the blanks.

  • Use Familiar Words and Phrases

Don’t overcomplicate things by using words the listener may not know.  Don’t generalize; explain everything in more detail than you may have otherwise.  Using unfamiliar language will slow down the conversation, and the listener may become disinterested.

  • Don’t Repeat

A stereotypical conversation with someone who has hearing problems will involve lots of repetition, which is not always necessary.  If your loved one hasn’t understood you the first time, it may not be because he or she didn’t hear you.  Try to explain it in a different way, rather than saying the same thing again and again.

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