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Effective Communication with Seniors Who Have Impaired Hearing

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According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately one out of every three people between the ages of 65 and 74 experience some degree of hearing impairment. While hearing aids and other devices can be helpful if your senior loved one has impaired hearing, Naples at-home care experts recommend having strategies in place to ensure effective communication.

Use Touch to Get Your Loved One’s Attention

Often, a person will simply begin talking to initiate a conversation. However, a senior with impaired hearing may not notice a verbal cue. Instead, touch your loved one’s arm as you say his or her name to make sure he or she is aware you are talking.

Face Him or Her

People with hearing impairments often use lip reading to make sense out of words they may not hear. As you talk, make sure to look at your loved one directly and keep your hands and other objects away from your face so he or she can watch your mouth movements. 

Be Animated

Along with lip reading, a senior with hearing impairment will watch your body language for cues. Make sure your emotions match the subject matter. Smiles, furrowed brows, and hand gestures are all powerful expressions that can enhance your conversation. As an additional measure, make sure you are talking in a well-lit space that allows for maximum visibility of your facial expressions. 

Avoid Background Noise

Crowded rooms, blaring televisions, and other distractions can interfere with a person’s ability to hear and make it more difficult for you to communicate. If possible, choose a quiet area with no other people around for your conversation or turn off noisy electronics.

Rephrase Misunderstood Statements

Seniors with hearing loss may have trouble understanding certain sounds. If your loved one did not understand something the first time, he or she will likely not hear it again if it is repeated. Instead of repeating yourself, try rephrasing your statement or break it up in smaller sentences that may be easier to comprehend.

Being able to communicate with others despite impairments can help boost your loved one’s emotional wellbeing. For other solutions to promote your loved one’s health, reach out to Home Care Assistance. Our compassionate caregivers not only make wonderful companions, but can also assist with a wide variety of daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and exercise. We also offer specialized Parkinson’s, stroke, and dementia home care Naples families trust. For more information, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free consultation.

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