According to conventional hearing assessments, one in every eight persons in the United States (13 percent, or 30 million) ages 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears. Around 2% of persons aged 45 to 54 have a debilitating hearing loss. This can be especially frustrating for seniors and make it harder for them to engage in conversations, making them feel left out. You need to understand how to communicate with your loved one. It is even more important for companion care at home providers to learn how to talk to someone with hearing problems.
Hearing loss can be super frustrating to deal with and result in emotional behaviors when it comes to seniors. They may become angry, sad, or lonely. It is important to not minimize these feelings but understand how to work around the hearing loss to include a senior.
Steps You and Companion Care at Home Aides Can Take To Communicate Better with your Senior
If you have been looking for some tips that will help a senior feel more included and work around their hearing loss, hopefully, this helps. Use these to start with, and if hearing becomes worse, keep in mind seniors should be going to their doctor regularly for checkups, and this includes a hearing specialist.
- Notify relatives and friends about a senior’s hearing loss so they may make concessions to keep you engaged in the discussion.
- Ensure you are speaking to seniors’ faces so they can see your lips and eyes.
- Reduce noise and other background distractions; go to a quieter area if these elements are beyond your control.
- Allow a senior to ask you to repeat what you said. This may frustrate you, but it will help the senior feel comfortable enough to keep communicating with you.
- Ensure the senior is getting plenty of rest. When they are too tired to actively listen, they may miss important information you are trying to share with them.
- Get their attention before speaking. If they don’t focus on you, a senior may not be listening to you.
- Use visual cues. If you have props or can use hand signals to inform a senior of what you’re saying it may help them understand you better.
All of these can be good tips to keep the senior actively listening to you. It is crucial to never make them feel bad about their hearing loss. If you feel like their hearing is progressively getting worse, it may be time to consider hearing aids.
What To Do When Hearing Is Completely Lost?
There are some instances where not even hearing aids can help. Certain surgeries may help a senior hear better, but if that is not an option, there are other ways to communicate. Both you and the senior can learn sign language to continue communication, and sometimes written words can be useful too. There are still ways to communicate without hearing, but you must adapt to the situation.