Communicating with Elderly People Who Have Hearing Loss

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Communicating with Elderly People Who Have Hearing Loss

According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, approximately one out of every three people between the ages of 65 and 74 experience some degree of hearing impairment. While hearing aids and other devices can be helpful if your senior loved one has impaired hearing, it’s crucial to have strategies in place to ensure effective communication. 

Use Touch to Get Their Attention

Often, a person will simply begin talking to initiate a conversation. However, a senior with impaired hearing may not notice a verbal cue. Instead, touch your loved one’s arm as you say his or her name to make sure he or she is aware you’re talking.  Hearing loss and other age-related conditions could make it challenging for your loved one to live alone at home safely. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing serious illnesses and require more extensive live-in care. Des Moines seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. 

Face Them

People with hearing impairments often use lip reading to make sense of words they may not hear. As you talk, make sure to look at your loved one directly and keep your hands and other objects away from your face so he or she can watch your mouth movements. 

Be Animated

Along with lip reading, a senior with hearing impairment will watch your body language for cues. Make sure your emotions match the subject matter. Smiles, furrowed brows, and hand gestures are all powerful expressions that can enhance your conversation. As an additional measure, make sure you’re talking in a well-lit space that allows for maximum visibility of your facial expressions.  Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elder care. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your elderly loved one age in place safely and comfortably.

Avoid Background Noise

Crowded rooms, blaring televisions, and other distractions can interfere with a person’s ability to hear and make it more difficult for you to communicate. If possible, turn off noisy electronics or choose a quiet area with no other people around for your conversation. 

Rephrase Misunderstood Statements

Seniors with hearing loss may have difficulty understanding certain sounds. If your loved one didn’t understand something the first time, he or she will likely not hear it again if it’s repeated. Instead of repeating yourself, try rephrasing your statement or break it up into smaller sentences that may be easier to comprehend.  Hearing impairment can have negative effects on an aging adult’s overall health and wellbeing. If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elderly home care Des Moines families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts. To create a customized care plan for your loved one, call us at (515) 264-2438 today. 


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