10 Ways to Better Communicate with Someone Dealing With Hearing Loss
You have found yourself here because either yourself or someone you love struggle with hearing loss. Dealing with hearing loss can be difficult for everyone involved and put a strain on relationships and social situations. Successful communication requires the efforts of all people involved in a conversation, thus it is essential for all parties to consistently use good communication strategies. Work on your communication in these 10 ways…
1. Do not talk to someone from another room. Not only is sound muffled but it can be hard for someone with impaired hearing to understand what you are saying without seeing you talk.
2. Say the person's name before starting a conversation. This will get their full attention and start the conversation on the right foot.
3.Turn your body and head towards the person you are speaking to. This makes it clear to the person that you are trying to engage in conversation.
4. Do not shout. You may think that making your voice louder by yelling or shouting will help, however shouting distorts sound.
5. Speak Clearly. It is easy to become lazy in your speech and speak fast or muffled. If you are speaking to someone with hearing impairments it is import to enunciate your words and speak in a clear manner.
6. Try to minimize background noise. Background noise can make it very difficult for the hearing impaired to hear what you are saying. Try to have conversations in places with minimized noises that can be distracting to the conversation.
7. Change your words up. If someone keeps asking you to repeat yourself, try to change up how you say it. Certain words may be more difficult to understand, so it does not help repeating the same words over and over.
8. Slow down and take breaks. Talking rapidly can impact a person’s chance of being able to understand you. Make sure to pause between sentences and make sure the person you are conversing with is not lost in the conversation. Repeating one sentence is a lot easier than repeating everything you said in the last 5 minutes. Give time for the other person to speak and take in what you said.
9. Have them repeat specifics back to you. If you are talking about something important that pertains to specific numbers, names, or locations. Make sure they have heard you correctly and have the correct information.
10. Encourage them to speak to a professional. Depending on where they are on their hearing journey may depict what actions they should take. If they have never taken actions towards hearing loss the first step is to get their hearing checked and give us a call at 540-248-1670. If they currently have a hearing aid, encourage them to look at different options. Technology has improved and changed, maybe it is time to upgrade or change their settings. Whatever point they are at, help them get the help they need. You can do your part by helping in the communication process and providing them with the resources they need.