4 Tips for Communicating With People Who Have Hearing Loss

The best conversations are when everyone involved can clearly understand and contribute to the topic. When you have a family member with hearing loss, there may be some challenges. However, with some minor adjustments, you can have enjoyable discussions. If you’re a caregiver to a senior, here are some strategies to make communication more comfortable and enjoyable for them.

How Can You Communicate With People Who Are Hearing Impaired?

1. Get Their Attention

Make sure the other person knows you want to talk to them before you start speaking. Saying their name, placing yourself within their line of vision, or using a simple gesture, such as putting a hand on their arm, alerts them and helps them focus. This signals that they should start actively listening, which means they are more prepared to hear what you say and respond accordingly. This helps them pay attention so that they don’t miss pieces of what you’re saying.

2. Make Eye Contact

Eye contact is beneficial for any conversation, and it’s helpful for seniors who have difficulty hearing certain words or phrases. When looking at you directly, they can see your emotions and read your body language, which helps them decipher words and phrases if they don’t hear them correctly. Eye contact also strengthens connections between people, which is important when you’re a caregiver seeking family bonding time.

3. Speak Clearly

While some people tend to exaggerate words or speak louder to a person who has trouble hearing, this can make speech less clear. Instead, keep your voice at a normal volume, pronounce words distinctly, don’t talk too fast or slow, and pause when necessary. This gives them time to register what you’re saying and room to ask you to repeat something they missed or didn’t understand.

4. Keep Your Face Visible

Seniors with hearing loss have an easier time following a conversation if they have a clear view of a person’s face. It helps to not only see expressions, but also to read lips to catch certain words. Don’t cover your face with your hands and try not to talk with food in your mouth. Additionally, using hand gestures to accentuate certain words or phrases can be helpful.