Six Strategies to Increase Communication with Individuals with Hearing Loss

The number of Americans suffering with hearing loss is growing yearly due to an aging population and an increase in the number of people working in noisy environments.

Unfortunately, the problems associated with hearing loss are not limited just to the inability to hear.  A loss of the ability to communicate has long been associated with the development of Alzheimer’s and dementia, as well as depression and anxiety issues.  This is why it is so important to spot potential issues early.  If your loved one receives senior care in Dallas, then it is imperative that his or her Caregiver is also made aware and looks out for symptoms.

Ensuring that your loved one is not socially isolated help you in making sure that more significant issues do not start to present themselves.  If your loved one is having trouble hearing, you should consult a medical professional, but you can also try to encourage different approaches to conversations.  The following strategies may help:

  1. Get Attention Before Starting a Conversation
  2. Starting a conversation when someone is facing the other way is not an option if that person suffers from hearing loss.  Ensure that you have their full attention before speaking.

  3. Approach Before Speaking
  4. Physically moving in front of your loved one so he or she can see your face is crucial to improving the chances that you will be understood the first time.  As well as hearing the words in a conversation, people can take cues from facial expressions, so make sure yours can be seen.

  5. Slow Speech Down
  6. Try not to speak at a normal conversational speed; you are far less likely to be understood.  It is important to encourage coherence and recall, and this can be better achieved by slowing down when you speak.

  7. Announce the Subject
  8. Let your loved one know what the topic of conversation is beforehand.  It may seem like a strange thing to do, but you are more likely to get a relevant response the first time if you are positive that the person knows what is being discussed in the first place.

  9. Rephrase Sentences
  10. Repeating the same sentence over and over again in an increasingly loud voice is likely to be ineffective.  Try to think of a different way of saying it, and you may be easier understood.

  11. Agree Upon Key Phrases
  12. Agree upon and use key words and phrases that are associated with certain topics.  Familiar words will trigger understanding much more that generalities.

Posted In: Senior Care