Here are some tips to communicating with a loved one, coworker, or friend who has hearing loss:
1. Shorten the Gap
Speech has less energy and clarity the further it has to travel. This is especially true when talking across the room or from room to room. In order to help your loved one hear better, get closer and close the gap.
Make sure to get the persons attention first. You can do this by saying their name, tapping them lightly on the shoulder, or waiting until you establish eye contact.
Although the hard of hearing person may not solely rely on lip reading, they are gaining a lot of speech cues from seeing your face. Face-to-face helps them “fill in the blanks” of what they may have missed.
4. Limit the Distractions
Any excess noise will interfere with the persons ease of communication. Turn off televisions, radios, etc. to ensure the person can hear you clearly.
5. No need to Yell
Talking louder may not necessarily make it easier for the person to hear you. Instead of raising your voice, make sure to talk clearly and slowly.
6. Rephrase, don’t just repeat
If the listener still did not hear what you said, try rephrasing instead of repeating. Giving the information in a different order will help them fill in what they missed.
7. Know your audience
By understanding that someone with hearing loss requires more effort to follow a conversation, particularly in noise or in a group of people, will help you be a better communicator.
8. Be Patient
It will be a process for anyone to adjust to hearing with hearing aids. Be patient, especially in the beginning as they may need “breaks” more often.