Loss of hearing is a common issue among older adults. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, around a third of people ages 65 to 74 have hearing loss and nearly half of those 75 and older have difficulty hearing. Hearing loss can come on gradually over time, or it can happen suddenly due to illness or injury.
Loss of hearing, whether gradual or sudden, can make communication challenging. This can be frustrating for both the senior experiencing hearing loss as well as their loved ones. The struggle to hear, carry on conversations, and enjoy outings and family time, coupled with the frustration they feel from others who are trying to communicate with them, can cause older adults to withdraw from social situations. This in turn can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation.
The following tips from our in-home caregivers in Tucson can help you better communicate with a senior experiencing loss of hearing.
- Get the person’s attention. When someone has trouble hearing, it is important to get their attention before speaking. Politely tap their shoulder or wave to let the person know you are about to speak to them.
- Eliminate background noise. A noisy room can make it even harder for a person with hearing impairment to follow a conversation. As much as possible, reduce the noise level of the room, including turning down music, TVs, etc. If you are in a public place, such as a restaurant, try to request a table in a less busy area.
- Take turns speaking one at a time. Conversations that involve multiple people can be particularly hard for a person with hearing loss to follow. When in a group setting, make sure only one person speaks at a time.
- Use a loud and clear speaking voice. When speaking, face the person and use a loud, clear voice without exaggerating your speech or shouting. This is especially important when wearing a face mask.
- Look into hearing aids. If the senior is receptive to the idea, discuss with his or her health care provider whether hearing aids might be a good option.
- Be patient and understanding. Navigating communication with someone with hearing loss can be frustrating for all involved. It is important to be patient and to consider how difficult the situation must be for the senior. Misunderstandings are bound to happen, but with time you will be able to find solutions that work for your family.
Senior Home Care of Tucson Hears You
Loss of hearing can be an isolating issue for many seniors. If you have a loved one struggling to stay social because of it, the team at Senior Home Care of Tucson hears you. Our dedicated caregivers in Tucson can help your family find ways to better communicate and ensure your loved one maintains healthy social interactions. Contact us today at (520) 355-4787 to learn more about how our professional in-home care services can improve your loved one’s quality of life.