Communication tips for hearing loss – Part I

Do you have a loved one that has hearing loss? Do you struggle to communicate with that person? Below we give 5 communication tips on how to better converse with a person who has hearing loss.

1. Speak slower.

One of the most helpful things you can do when speaking to someone with hearing loss is to speak slowly. Speaking slower and focusing on enunciating your words can make a world of difference to someone with hearing loss. However, don’t over-exaggerate.

2. Keep your hands away from your face.

Many people with hearing loss rely on lipreading and facial expressions to assist with understanding speech. Keeping your hands away from your face ensures that this is visible to the listener.

3. Face the person head-on.

Hearing aids are most effective at picking up sounds that are directly in front of the wearer. If you stand to the side, or behind the person with hearing loss, they may struggle to understand you.

4. Say the person’s name before speaking.

Get the person’s attention before you begin speaking. You may choose to say their name, or touch them on the arm. This gives the listener a chance to focus their attention on you.

5. Maintain eye contact.

Maintaining eye contact is a way to help you convey that you are engaged in the conversation and paying attention. It also helps to ensure that you are facing the person with hearing loss, and that they can see your lip movements and facial expressions.

This was Part 1 of our Communication Tips blog series. Check back for Part 2 to learn additional tips on improving communication with your loved one with hearing loss.

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