Helpful Strategies to Support People Living With Hearing Loss
At Bluebird Care Sevenoaks, we work with many customers living with hearing loss. Here are a few strategies that we find useful for helping people with hearing impairment to communicate and feel included.It’s estimated that almost 1 in 6 people in the UK have some form of hearing impairment. As home care providers, we regularly work with people living with hearing difficulties and understand that, although many people don’t seek help for the problem, hearing loss can significantly affect a person’s ability to communicate and feel included. Without adequate support, people who are deaf or hard of hearing can often experience feelings of frustration, isolation, anxiety and depression.
So how can we help? Here are a few tried and tested Bluebird Care Sevenoaks strategies to assist people with hearing problems to make themselves heard and feel they’re a valued part of the conversation.
How Can You Help Someone With a Hearing Impairment to Communicate?
- Get their attention – saying the person’s name or making a gesture to get their attention before you start communicating will help the person focus on you before you begin to speak. That way they’ll know you’re talking to them and won’t miss the first part of the conversation.
- Speak face-to-face – avoid turning away while speaking, obscuring your face or talking from another room as the hearing-impaired person may need to watch your lips to understand what you’re saying. Also, much of what we communicate is conveyed by body language, so it’s important for the person to be able to see you clearly. Making sure your environment is light enough is an important factor too.
- Keep the conversation natural – shouting, speaking too quickly, too slowly or over-exaggerating can distort speech and make it much harder for someone to understand you.
- Keep sentences short and sweet – short sentences with clear information are easier to understand than the person trying to pick out the important bits from long-winded speech.
- Use visuals – using pictures, gestures or writing something down can be a better way to help the person understand you if they’re finding it hard to hear certain words.
- Get on the person’s good side – many people with hearing problems have one ear that hears better than the other, so making sure you’re on their good side will help with communication.
- Repeat the information – getting the person to confirm what you’ve said by repeating it is a good way of making sure that they truly understood what you said.
- Choose the right time – when people are tired, feeling ill or just having a bad day, it can be more of an effort for them to process information. Picking the right time to communicate can make a huge difference.
- Consider your environment – a busy or noisy environment can make concentrating on conversation very difficult for people who have a problem hearing. Background noise like music, TV or people talking should be kept to a minimum when trying to communicate. Very loud places or individual sounds can be distressing for hearing impaired people too, so bear that in mind.
- Mix it up – if someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying, try phrasing it in a different way. They may be mis-hearing a key word that means the sentence doesn’t make much sense to them.
- Get help from the professionals – having regular hearing tests and finding out about assistive aids and technology that could help the person with hearing loss could make a world of difference to their quality of life.
At Bluebird Care Sevenoaks, we have extensive experience of supporting people living with varying levels of hearing loss to live life their way in the comfort of their own home. Whatever unique support you may need, we’re here to make life as fun and fulfilling as we can. Our highly-trained home care team will help you communicate in the way that suits you and make sure that you get the practical help you need too, such as attending important hearing test appointments or using assistance aids.
Tailored Support at Home
If you’d like to know more about our individually tailored home care and live in care services, just send us an email or phone us on 01732-471-541 and ask away! We’re always here to help.
To find out more about hearing loss, The British Deaf Association and Action on Hearing Loss have lots of useful advice and information.