Hearing Blog

How to help someone with hearing loss

How to help someone with hearing loss

All too often, we may notice ourselves starting to repeat information a second, third, or maybe even fourth time for a loved one. Maybe we even notice our loved one just smiling and nodding when we ask an important question. Slowly, but surely, it becomes apparent that our loved one may have hearing loss. So what can we do to help?

In order to help our loved one, we must remember that everyone goes at his or her own pace. For many people, accepting that there’s hearing loss can be an emotional journey. Getting a hearing test for the first time can feel intimidating. We must respect that. As a family member or friend, it’s best to use gentle encouragement. Offer to go with to the appointment. It’s always nice to have someone available for support. Not only that, but there may be crucial information you may be able to provide during the appointment that the hearing impaired individual may not even notice.

Once our loved one has a documented hearing loss, hearing aids are often recommended, and they can be a great tool. They have changed so many people’s lives for the better, but we have to remember that they are hearing aids, not hearing replacements. There are still going to be some hurdles for the wearer. Hurdles that we can help reduce with good communication strategies.

First and foremost, visual cues are key. The eyes and ears are a team. Everyone uses facial cues at times to help understand what is being said. Even someone who has normal hearing. So let’s keep this in mind for our loved ones. I know it’s tempting to yell a question from down the hall, but even with hearing aids on this may be a challenge. Speaking slowly, clearly, and in close proximity will be greatly appreciated by your loved one with hearing loss. If your loved one isn’t facing you, try tapping him/her on the shoulder or calling out his/her name. This will allow your loved one to direct attention to you.

Another thing to consider is noise. Background noise can make it difficult for even those with normal hearing. For someone with an impaired auditory system, crowds can be a daunting situation. If possible, try to keep the noise behind the individual with hearing loss or make efforts to reduce other distractions. Sit in a quieter section of that crowded restaurant or turn down the tv volume when having a conversation. These strategies help the listener focus their attention on you.

While our loved ones may still face challenges when it comes to hearing, there are several things we can do to be of assistance. Provide support and focus on good communication. For more information or additional tools, schedule an appointment with The Hearing Center (260) 469-6919 today.