Depending on the persons hearing loss, you can’t always count on the hearing aids to completely restore hearing and understanding of the words. It can take a lot of focus and energy to keep up with a conversation.
Here are some communication strategies Tips for hearing loss:
Get the persons attention before you speak to them. A room with good lighting is helpful. Some people with hearing loss relies on lip reading, facial expression and gestures to help them communicate. Some don’t even realize they do this. Keep your mouth uncovered, don’t speak from another room or when your back is turned to the person. Don’t yell into a hearing aid, that will just distort your voice and make it worse. Try rephrasing words. Sometimes they can hear you they just don’t understand that word anymore.
When you want them to have specific information write it down, text them but don’t leave it to change that they heard what you said. Like time, date and addresses.
Pay attention to the person that is hard of hearing cues. Sometimes they feel embarrassed or don’t want to be rude and ask you to repeat yourself several times.
- Pronounce each word individually
- Don’t slur the words together
- Use gestures they help
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Don’t cover your mouth
- Use fewer words
- Rephrase your sentences when needed
- Be mindful of your environment
The environment you are communicating in is important. Find a place with little to no background noise. People with hearing loss have more difficult time in noise. When we are babies we learn to cut down our background noise. Hearing loss usually comes on gradually so our brain gets lazy. We can’t hear the background noise as we once did and therefore there is no need to cut it down.
At a restaurant choose a booth with a high back when possible. If a high booth is not possible then with your back to a wall or where there won’t be so much sound coming from behind. A round table is also an option. A round table will let you see visual cues from everyone.
Remember that it’s frustrating for the listener with the hearing loss just as it is the talker without the hearing loss.
I hope you find these tips helpful. For more information and a FREE hearing test call 907-644-6004