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Tips for Communicating with Hearing Impaired Seniors

  
  
  

hearing problems, hearing impaired seniors, hearing impaired elderlyTaking care of a senior loved one involves daily conversation.  Communicating with hearing impaired seniors can present many challenges.  Use these tips to to increase comprehension and form more successful relationships.

  • Communicate within the distance of three feet, face to face.
  • Pronounce your words clearly.  Speak slowly, distinctly, but naturally, without shouting or exaggerating mouth movements.  Shouting distorts the sound of speech.
  • Use "body language".  Apply facial and body expressions.
  • Check the lighting to be certain that your face is clearly visible which will help with lip reading.
  • Use strategies to help numbers and letters be correctly understood.  "D as in Dog", "41 as in four one".
  • Lower your pitch.
  • Avoid putting your hands or finger on your face while talking.
  • Eliminate as much noise as possible while communicating.
  • regularly check hearing devices.  Make sure that the device is clean and that the batteries are placed in correctly.
  • Have your loved one sit where they can see everyone clearly who will be conversing.
  • Say the person's name before beginning a conversation.  This gives the listener a chance to focus their attention.  Announce what you will be doing or discussing, avoid sudden changes of topic.
  • Be certain that you are not talking too rapidly or using sentences that are too complex.
  • Do not talk from another room.  Not being able to see each other when talking is a common reason people have difficulty understanding what is said.
  • If your loved one has difficulty understanding a phrase or word, try to find a different way of saying the same thing, rather than repeating the original words over and over.
  • If you are giving specific information, have your loved one repeat the specifics back to you.  Many numbers and words sound alike.
  • Whenever possible, provide pertinent information in writing, such as directions, schedules, etc.
  • Keep in mind that everyone has a harder time hearing and understanding when ill or tired.
  • Pay attention to your loved one.  A puzzled look may indicate misunderstanding.  Ask leading questions so you know your message got across.

 

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