10 Tips for Communicating with People with Hearing Loss
A common misconception is that when people with hearing loss are fitted with hearing aids or cochlear implants, they are able to clearly in all situations. Even with hearing aids or cochlear implants, it is important friends and family use good communication strategies at all times to ensure successful communication.
Here are 10 tips on communicating with people with hearing loss.
- Get the listener’s attention by calling out to them or tapping them on the shoulder before the start of every conversation.
- Sit close. Hearing aids are only able to pick up clear speech effectively up to 1.8 metres.
- Try to sit or stand at eye-level with the listener during conversations, make sure there is plenty of light in the room so that the listener look at your lips and hand gestures to aid understanding.
- Speak slowly, if the listener misunderstood what you said, rephrase your sentences in different words instead of trying to repeat at a louder volume.
- Talk to the listener in the same room. A common complaint of people with hearing loss is that family members is try to communicate with them by shouting from a different room.
- Reduce unwanted noise in the home by closing windows, reducing the volume of the television or using soft furniture to dampen noise which interferes with speech.
- During meal times, do not speak and chew at the same as this makes speech harder to understand.
- If the listener has a better hearing ear, try to position yourself to sit closer to the better ear during conversations.
- If you noticed the listener looking confused or inattentive during the conversation, ask clarifying questions such as “Did you understand what I said?” to ensure the listener got your message.
- Have the most important conversations in the earlier part of the day. This is when people have the most energy. Most people, especially those with hearing loss, have a harder time hearing or understanding speech when he or she is tired or not feeling well.