As we get older, our sense of sight and hearing gradually decreases. Studies reveal that 1 out of 3 adults 65-74 have hearing problems. This affects their lives in so many ways. Some may feel embarrassed to participate in social interactions. At the doctor’s office, they may find it difficult to catch the doctor’s words. Others do not want to talk on the telephone as they find it hard to understand what the person on the other end is saying.
Here are some ways to communicate effectively with hearing impaired seniors:
Speak slowly and clearly and enunciate clearly. Don’t exaggerate your speech as it will distort lip movement.
Speak loudly, but you don’t need to shout. A lot of people fail to realize this, but shouting actually distorts the words, making it more difficult for the person to understand what you’re saying.
Reduce background noise. Crowded rooms and loud noises can interfere with your loved one’s ability to hear; Thus, making it more difficult to communicate. Turn off the television or the radio. Talk in a quiet place if possible.
Face the person when talking. Your facial expression and body language add vital information when communicating with another person. Make sure you face the person when talking and making eye contact. Some impairing patients make use of lip-reading, so keep your hands away from your face when talking.
Check the hearing aid. If the person is wearing a hearing aid, check if it is properly placed on the person’s ear. Also, ask if it is turned on.
Use direct questions. If the person did not understand what you just said, try to rephrase instead of repeating. Older adults may sometimes get confused, especially when asked complicated questions. Try to ask direct questions.
This information was provided by All About Seniors, Inc.