If you have a loved one with hearing loss, you know that hearing loss can present a wide variety of communication struggles. Your loved one may frequently ask you to repeat yourself, raise your voice, or fill in the gaps.
To make your life, and your love one’s life, just a bit easier, here are few tips for how you can better communicate with them.
1. Face the person directly.
Maintaining eye contact with your loved one to makes it easier for them to watch you speak and see your facial expressions. Seeing how you express yourself particularly aids in helping them to better interpret the meaning of the words you say.
2. Ensure there is good lighting.
Many restaurants and coffee shops have low light to create an appeasing atmosphere. However, for those with hearing loss, a lack of quality lighting can make it more difficult to communicate with others because they are often times trying to read lips to help them understand better. As such, seek out well-lit areas.
3. Speak as clearly as possible.
There’s a common misconception that when we talk to someone with hearing loss, we need to yell for them to hear us, but the reality is, yelling only makes us more difficult to hear. Instead, speak naturally, but try to clearly articulate the words you say.
4. Avoid areas with background noise.
Just as with low lighting, background noise can act as a communication barrier. Most people with hearing loss have difficulty differentiating the voice they are hearing from the background noise, so make things easy and avoid noisy areas.
5. Keep your hands out of your face.
Even if you do not have hearing loss, it can be difficult to understand someone who is trying to speak while eating, smoking, or drinking. Avoid blocking your face with such activities to make your face more visible and speech clearer.
If your loved one has hearing loss, visit our step-by-step guide to helping them to hear better: Is Your Loved One Ready to Start Wearing Hearing Aids?
6. Use the person’s name.
Especially if you are in a large group of people, using names can add clarity in regards to who you are speaking to. Saying your loved one’s name also gives them a moment to focus on what you are saying, without missing the beginning of the conversation.
7. Rephrase missed statements.
If your loved one asks you to repeat, it’s better to re-phrase than to repeat yourself. There may be specific words that you used that made it more difficult for them to understand you, so by re-phrasing, you may use words that are more clearly understood.
8. Seek confirmation of understanding.
Before moving forward in the conversation, ask your loved one questions to confirm that they understood what you said. You may even consider asking them to repeat back some of the information you shared.
9. Offer certain information in writing.
If you’re sharing significant, detailed information, such as the date of an appointment or a phone number, it’s often better to write it down. Even for those without hearing loss, small details are often more easily understood when written down.
10. Refrain from talking from another room.
Now that you know that talking to a person with hearing loss is best face-to-face, with good lighting and little background noise, you should also understand that talking from another room is ineffective. In doing so, much information can be lost.
To help your loved one to start hearing better, simply visit our Online Hearing Check, or call one of our representatives at 1 (800) 804-0434, to get a general idea of their hearing loss. With that, you can order a pair of hearing aids that will best fit their hearing needs!
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us now.
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