Do your grandchildren have to yell “Grandma!” or “Grandpa!” to attract your attention? Due to hearing loss, you may have concerns about communicating with the little ones in your life, and you may be wondering how to deal with hearing loss as a grandparent.
High-frequency hearing loss sufferers often have a difficult time hearing the high-pitched voices of children. When babysitting your grandchild, that can be worrying. You want to be able to talk with your grandchild and enjoy each other’s company!
Dealing with hearing loss as a grandparent can be nerve-wracking, but there are steps you can take to make communicating with your grandchild easier for both of you.
1. Seek hearing help if you haven’t already
Make an appointment with your doctor or use our Online Hearing Check to evaluate the severity of your hearing loss. After performing the online hearing check, you may choose to purchase a hearing aid.
While our online hearing check is not an official diagnosis, the results can help you select an advanced affordable hearing aid that suits your needs.
2. Wear your hearing aid!
If you already have a hearing aid, wear it when interacting with or babysitting your grandchild. Unfortunately, not everybody with hearing loss follows through with wearing their hearing aid, which means they miss out on the benefits of using their hearing device, like hearing their grandchild’s voice!
Use your hearing aid not only to hear those peals of laughter in the backyard and squeals of joy at the park but to put your mind at ease. With your hearing aid, you’ll be able to communicate better with your grandchild, including in an emergency situation.
3. Try a one-on-one approach
If your grandchildren are old enough, you can talk to them about the fact that you have difficulty hearing. Ask your grandchildren to tap your hand or arm before they speak to you so you can offer them your full attention.
Most people with hearing loss find it easier to understand speech if they are face-to-face with the person speaking to them. If there are other people talking in the room, you may want to pull the child who is speaking to you aside and move to a quieter area to have a conversation.
For more information on the topic of hearing loss and relationships, read our article How Can Hearing Loss Impact Your Relationships?
4. Implement technological options
If the little one in your life is too young to understand your hearing loss, there are technologies that can assist you if you are concerned about not hearing the child. A variety of child monitors are now on the market that are designed for this exact situation.
Many of these monitors will activate flashing lights or use vibration to alert you that the child is crying. Some monitors even include a bracelet for you to wear that will vibrate when the youngster makes a noise.
There are also video-enabled units that will allow you to keep an eye on your grandchild from another room.
If this sounds like something that could work well for you, research your options to find the best monitor for your circumstances and price range.
5. Keep background noise to a minimum
Living with hearing loss often means changing some of your daily habits. If you are the type of person who likes to leave the television on throughout the day, that’s a habit you may want to drop.
Background noise will limit your ability to focus in on sounds and voices. If the television is blaring or if multiple people are talking at the same time, like in a crowded room, the words and noises all blend together, causing you to miss out on important information.
Keeping your home environment quiet will make it easier to converse with your grandchild.
6. Communicate with your own child
Be honest about your hearing loss and welcome your grandchildren’s parents into the conversation, allowing them to make suggestions about communication. They know their child better than anyone, and they may be able to offer suggestions that will help you.
If you decide to use a child monitor, you can also invite the parents over to see how it works, which may put their mind at ease, as well as your own.
With preparation and planning, you can make communication between you and your grandchild much easier so your grandchild (or grandchildren!) can appreciate the time spent with you, soaking in every wise word of advice!
If you have decided that you need a hearing aid but aren’t sure which one is right for you, please reach out to our Advanced Affordable Hearing team at 1 (800) 804-0434.
We would be thrilled to help you hear your grandchildren again!