It’s challenging for your loved one to communicate with you when they’re living with a hearing impairment. Fortunately, there are some things (besides getting them hearing aids) that you can do to help include them in your family gatherings so the experience is both pleasant and inclusive for everyone who’s there.
Do Your Best to Communicate Clearly
While you don’t want to overemphasize your words, you do want to make sure that you speak in a way that’s both clear and concise. By speaking too slowly (or too loudly) to those with hearing loss you’ll embarrass them unnecessarily, which will result in hurt feelings.
When someone is struggling to hear you, try rephrasing what you’re saying. By using less complicated words, it may be easier for them to understand what you’re saying. It’s always a good idea to speak clearly and to speak in their direction…not looking away or with your head down.
Make Sure You’re Somewhere They can see and Hear you Clearly
When talking to a loved one who has hearing loss, always get their attention before you start talking to them. From there, you’ll want to make sure you are somewhere they can both hear and see you. Make sure your face, especially your mouth, is clearly visible. If you are simply facing them while speaking to them, that alone will increase the speech understanding by nearly 20%. These are some important ways to make sure that the conversation is heard and that important words don’t get lost. Remember, jumping into the middle of a conversation or answering questions you haven’t fully heard is near impossible for anyone. Now imagine how difficult this is for a loved one wearing hearing aids.
Reduce Background Noise
Background noise is very distracting regardless of whether you have a hearing issue or not. When multiple conversations are happening around you (whether this be humans, the radio, or the TV) will obscure the conversation you need to pay attention to. This is why it’s so important to find somewhere quiet to host important conversations. A busy restaurant is one of the worst possible situations. Please keep this in mind when deciding where to eat.
Encourage Your Loved one to Wear Hearing Aids
Most seniors can provide you with a legitimate reason for why they don’t wear their hearing aids. Typically, it’s because they’re uncomfortable. This is why you should do everything in your power to make sure they’re comfortable (e.g. fits properly, adequate volume, improved speech clarity). Most issues are ones their hearing professional can easily correct for them.
Be Patient and Understanding
While all these tips are helpful, the most beneficial thing you can do for a person who has a hearing loss is to show them patience and understanding throughout your conversations. You don’t know how much of an effect hearing loss has on a person. It can cause them to feel frustrated, withdraw socially, and even grow depressed. This is why it’s so important to make sure you take steps to include people who have hearing loss in your conversations – going out of your way to accommodate their needs whenever possible. Before things seem to get “too bad,” make sure you contact Countryside Hearing Aid Services to get them the help that they need. Countryside Hearing Aid Services has been around since 1979. They are BBB A+ Rated and in 2018, enjoyed a 99.99% fitting success rate!
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