Elderly Hearing Loss: Communication Tips

What? What? Huh?

*Smile and nod*

Care For Dementia Patients, Live In Home Care Sound familiar? Below are some elderly hearing loss suggestions for communicating with loved ones:

  • Before beginning to speak, get the attention of the person with hearing loss
  • Face the person and have the light on your face (in your eyes)
  • Speak up, as clearly and naturally as possible, without shouting
  • Do not overemphasize the speech sounds or talk in slow motion
  • Cut out background noise by turning off the TV or radio
  • Write down important information and directions
  • Don’t cover your mouth with your hand or an object
  • Think about trimming a mustache and/or beard so lips are easier to read
  • Rephrase a misunderstood sentence rather than repeat it
  • Ask the person with the hearing loss to repeat vital facts
  • When traveling by car, look at the person who is speech reading to the degree safety allows
  • When going to a restaurant, choose a quiet, well-lit establishment where the noise is tolerable. Ask for a table away from music speakers and in a corner, so the person with a hearing loss can sit against the wall to minimize background noise
  • When in a group, clue the person into the conversation, the punchline, the context, and/or assist the person when topics change

If the listener does not understand you:

  1. Repeat what you said
  2. Slow down
  3. Speak slightly louder than normal
  4. Re-word or re-phrase (say it another way using common words)
  5. Present sentences in short units, breaking them down into “chunks” (“I went on a trip…with my daughter’s class…to Ellis Island”)
  6. Request feedback (“Tell me what you understood.”)
  7. Write down some important words

*Information Courtesy of the The Center for Hearing and Communication. For more information visit chchearing.org.

If hearing loss goes unchecked, the individual might begin to feel isolated and depressed. American In-Home Care can help someone with hearing loss by providing companionship and other services to help them remain independent and stay safe within his or her home and daily environment. Contact us for more information or to set up a free in-home consultation.

Care For Dementia Patients, Live In Home Care