It can be challenging and sometimes frustrating for someone with hearing loss to communicate successfully with others. Our loved ones with hearing loss due to aging may feel lonely and retreat from social situations, which has a negative impact on their overall wellbeing. Though it may be frustrating to interact with your hearing impaired loved ones, there are many ways to help both of you in communicating. Here are six tips when communicating with hearing impaired seniors.
Get Their Attention
Before speaking, respectfully seek your loved one’s attention. Stepping into their line of sight, quietly raising a hand in their direction, or gently tapping on their shoulder are all polite ways to do so. But try not to surprise the person.
Reduce Background Noise
Remove as much background noise as possible, such as TV noises, music, or other people’s conversation. While in public places such as restaurants or social gatherings, it might be hard or even impossible to limit background noises. Instead, you should select a quieter location or choose seatings in less crowded areas so that you can speak to them without any distractions or ambient noises.
Speak One at a Time
Conversations with numerous persons might be difficult to follow for someone with hearing loss. Only one person should speak at a time in a group environment. For a hearing-impaired person, conversations with more than one or talking over each other can make participation complicated and stressful.
Speak Loudly and Clearly
When speaking to your loved ones who are hearing impaired, try to face them and talk clearly, but without becoming overly dramatic. The same goes for your voice level and tone. A speaker with a slightly elevated voice, but not shouting, can help certain elders with age-related hearing loss. Also, remember to speak at a suitable speed, not too quickly, but not too slow.
When speaking with somebody who has a hearing impairment, keep in mind that they may not understand everything you say the first time. You may need to repeat yourself. If they appear perplexed, don’t be afraid to question if they understand. Try using the same words and phrases a couple of times while repeating. Exact repetition may benefit them in piecing together the full notion you’re expressing, however changing what you’re saying frequently can be detrimental and cause them to doubt what they initially believed you meant.
Visual Cues and Appearances Are Important
When speaking, make sure to face the person straight and keep regular eye contact. Even if your loved ones with hearing loss have never studied lip-reading, glancing at a speaker’s mouth, body language, and facial expressions can provide a wealth of information. While speaking, avoid covering your lips or looking around as this can hinder their ability to listen or comprehend what you’re saying.
Enjoy Active Independent Living at Terrabella Windsor Lake
If you want to live independently while enjoying the benefits of a retirement community, you can do so at Terrabella Windsor Lake! We offer Active Independent Living where you can enjoy life while experiencing the maintenance-free lifestyle you seek. We also have various high-quality amenities and exclusive senior living programs where you can indulge in gourmet meals and enjoy fun activities planned just for you. To find out more, contact us today!