How Can You Communicate with a Loved One Who Has Trouble Hearing?

Posted: 7/17/2017 9:10 AM by Interim HealthCare
Having a difficult time hearing what's going on around her can be really difficult for your loved one to deal with. It can also mean that communication is not as easy as it could be. Taking your time communicating and avoiding making the situation worse are all good first steps.

Avoid Talking Louder
It's a common misconception that talking louder to someone who has hearing trouble will fix the situation. Instead what happens is that you end up distorting your voice even more and now your loved one really can't make out what you're saying. Speaking louder doesn't make the situation easier to handle for either of you.

Make Eye Contact with Your Loved One
When you're talking with your loved one, make sure that you have eye contact with her. This forms a connection and lets her know that you're talking to her. This can help her focus on you and potentially read your lips or your body language.

Enunciate as Clearly as Possible
As you're speaking, don't change the volume, but do what you can to speak as clearly as you possibly can. If necessary, practice speaking clearly with a friend or another family member. Sometimes just speaking more clearly is all your loved one needs.

Adjust the Environment, if Possible
If the environment is too loud, your loved one might benefit greatly from an adjustment. Turning down the television or radio can help quite a bit. Another helpful idea is to ask other people in the room to be quieter for a moment. If you're in a crowd, you might want to find a quieter alcove.

Use Alternatives When the Situation Isn't Optimal
Sometimes the situation isn't optimal and you can't adjust it to make it optimal. In those situations, you might want to try alternative methods of communicating. If you can write down what you're trying to say or type a note on a smartphone screen, that can go a long way toward helping your loved one feel included.

When someone new enters your loved one's life, such as a new senior care provider, let that person know how to help your loved one work around her hearing issues.

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