Communication tips for hearing loss – Part II

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

6. Rephrase, rather than repeat.

If the listener is having trouble understanding you, and you’ve already repeated yourself once, try to rephrase your message using different words. Repeating the exact same thing over and over is frustrating for both the speaker and the listener.

7. Reduce background noise.

Hearing aid technology has improved significantly over the last decade. Current hearing aids are much better at filtering out background noise than they used to be, but they still aren’t perfect. Too much background noise can drown out speech.

Turn down the TV. Turn off fans, dishwashers, air conditioners, and other noisy household appliances.

8. Enunciate.

Volume is only a piece of the problem for people with hearing loss. Improve word clarity by enunciating. Speak clearly and at a steady pace to help the listener understand what you’re saying.

9. Watch for signs of confusion.

Does your listener seem puzzled? Watch for signs that they may be confused or that they haven’t understood what you’ve said. It’s OK to tactfully ask if they need some clarification.

10. Speak to the person, not the interpreter.

Some patients will hearing loss will use a professional interpreter or a family member to assist with communication. In these cases, you should still talk directly to the person you’re conversing with. Face them directly when you speak, even if someone else is translating.

This was Part 2 of our Communication Tips blog series. Did you miss Part 1?

Check back for Part 3 to learn additional tips on improving communication with your loved one with hearing loss.

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