While we know how difficult it can sometimes be to communicate with someone who is experiencing hearing loss, we tend to forget that it is equally difficult for the person with hearing loss to communicate with those who hear normally. Those of us who do not have hearing problems tend to speak faster, mumble or speak less clearly than we could, and aren’t bothered by background noises. For someone with low hearing, those situations can be quite annoying and can cause him or her to be left out of the conversation entirely.
If you or a relative are experiencing hearing loss, here are a few strategies to help you communicate:
- If you have a hearing aid, make sure it is working properly.
- Tell the people you are with that you have hearing loss; that way they know to adapt their speech, look at you when they are speaking, or make other accommodations to help keep you in the conversation.
- Sit or stand where you can see the faces of all speakers.
- Move away from noise or other background disturbances.
- Ask people to repeat themselves when necessary or repeat back the part of the message that you understood with a request for the speaker to repeat the part that you didn’t hear. (For example, “You went where?” “Who called you yesterday?”)
- Use what you know about the speaker to help clue you in on what is going on in the conversation, including the speaker’s interests or habits.
- Stay informed about current events.
- Make sure you are well-rested before attending an event where you will be listening to a lot of speech.
For more information on communication strategies for the hearing impaired, click here.
Often, people see their hearing loss as an embarrassment and fail to speak up to ensure that they are included in conversations. Don’t be left out. Contact Live Free Home Health Care of the Lakes Region and Central New Hampshire at 603-217-0149 for more tips on living with hearing loss.