Tips for Communicating with Seniors with Hearing Loss

Elderly woman wearing a hearing aid

Tips for Communicating with Seniors with Hearing Loss

Whether a result of injury, prolonged exposure to loud noises, or simply age-related changes, hearing loss is extremely common in older adults. According to a report by the American Academy of Audiology, one in three people over the age of 60 have hearing loss. This ratio increases to one in two by the age of 85.

Providing care to an elderly loved one with hearing loss can create a range of challenges. To promote quality correspondence and a better quality of life, try these tips for communicating with seniors with hearing loss.

Tips for Communicating with Seniors with Hearing Loss

Look at them when you speak

For many hard-of-hearing individuals, reading lips is an important part of their communication. If they don’t exactly hear what was said, they can often use lip-reading to fill in the blanks. When trying to talk to your elderly loved one, don’t talk over your shoulder or shout from the other room. Speak to them face-to-face, preferably making eye contact.

Speak loudly and clearly

When talking to your elderly loved one, you may have to speak louder than you would speak to others. Make sure you know the difference between raising your voice and shouting, as the latter could offend them. Instead, speak at a slightly elevated volume and make a point to use proper diction. Avoid covering your mouth while speaking or mumbling.

Speak one at a time

Are you at a family gathering or dinner with your elderly loved one and think they seem to struggle to keep up with conversation? Remind everyone to avoid speaking over one another and try to keep any side conversations quiet. The overlapping voices may make it difficult for those hard of hearing to keep up with the turns of conversation.

hearing loss in seniors

Reduce background noise

As referenced above, too much side conversation at once can make conversing with your older family member a challenge. The same goes for any sort of background noise such as the television, the radio, or a loud road. If you are attempting to effectively communicate with your loved one, try to reduce background noise.

Get their input on how they would prefer to be communicated with

While it is wonderful to make an effort to include your older family member in any way possible, it is important you are employing communication strategies they prefer. Some older adults may encourage you to gesture with your hands to get your meaning across, while others may find it distracting. Some may want you to utilize grander facial expressions, while others will rely more on your body language.

Whatever it is, keep all family and friends in the loop so you can all benefit from better conversation. This will help eliminate feelings of isolation in your elderly loved one and encourage them to engage more with the people they care about.

Care from professionals who understand

When your elderly loved one needs help to remain in the comfort of their home, it is essential they work with a compassionate individual who understands their needs. Luckily, that is precisely what they get with an at-home caregiver.

Home Care Powered by AUAF has provided seniors in the greater Chicago area with the sensitive, dedicated support they deserve. For more information on how an at-home caregiver could support your loved one, give us a call at (773) 274-9262.

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