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Tips for Communicating with Hearing Impaired Seniors

Taking care of a senior loved one involves daily conversation. Communicating with hearing impaired seniors can present many challenges. Use these tips to to increase comprehension and form more successful relationships.

  • Communicate within the distance of three feet, face to face.

  • Pronounce your words clearly. Speak slowly, distinctly, but naturally, without shouting or exaggerating mouth movements. Shouting distorts the sound of speech.

  • Use "body language". Apply facial and body expressions.

  • Check the lighting to be certain that your face is clearly visible which will help with lip reading.

  • Use strategies to help numbers and letters be correctly understood. "D as in Dog", "41 as in four one".

  • Lower your pitch.

  • Avoid putting your hands or finger on your face while talking.

  • Eliminate as much noise as possible while communicating.

  • Regularly check hearing devices. Make sure that the device is clean and that the batteries are placed in correctly.

  • Have your loved one sit where they can see everyone clearly who will be conversing.

  • Say the person's name before beginning a conversation. This gives the listener a chance to focus their attention. Announce what you will be doing or discussing, avoid sudden changes of topic.

  • Be certain that you are not talking too rapidly or using sentences that are too complex.

  • Do not talk from another room. Not being able to see each other when talking is a common reason people have difficulty understanding what is said.

  • If your loved one has difficulty understanding a phrase or word, try to find a different way of saying the same thing, rather than repeating the original words over and over.

  • If you are giving specific information, have your loved one repeat the specifics back to you. Many numbers and words sound alike.

  • Whenever possible, provide pertinent information in writing, such as directions, schedules, etc.

  • Keep in mind that everyone has a harder time hearing and understanding when ill or tired.

  • Pay attention to your loved one. A puzzled look may indicate misunderstanding. Ask leading questions so you know your message got across.

Consult Atlanta's most trusted source for quality Home Care assistance, Easy Living Services, Inc. We have supported Atlanta families in their efforts to keep loved ones fulfilled and safe at home since 1994. Call to discuss your specific needs, 770-442-8664 or visit us at:

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