The Cottages Blog

Help Your Senior Mom with Hearing Loss

Posted by Leslie Carter on May 2, 2017 10:30:00 AM

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By the year 2020, the United States is expected to have more than 44 million adults who have clinically meaningful hearing loss. Those numbers are expected to double over the next couple of decades as well. If your senior mom suffers mild to severe hearing loss, there are ways you can be helpful.

The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) suggests the following ways that listeners can communicate better with those who have a hearing loss:

  • Before speaking, make sure that you have the listener’s attention and that the view of your mouth is not obstructed by your hands, gum, food, or other items
  • Do not shout when you speak, but speak clearly and precisely
  • Talk to, not about, the person
  • Emphasize the visual
  • Face your audience and don’t stand with the light to your back, where your face may fall into shadow and your lips may be hard to see
  • Try not to have conversations in noisy areas
  • Have empathy and patience, stay positive, relax

For those seniors who have experienced hearing loss, here are some ways that you can help with communicating with friends and family members who do not have hearing loss:

  • Tell others the best way to speak to you—be specific about lighting, noise level, and any other details that help or hinder you from communicating
  • Pay close attention and concentrate on the speaker
  • Don’t interrupt
  • Look for visual cues, and ask for written ones if you need them
  • Give the speaker feedback on how well they are or aren’t communicating with you
  • Admit it when you don’t understand
  • Know that difficult situations are going to occur, and don’t stress over those times

At the end of the day, the most important part of communication is honesty. Those who are close to you are not going to judge you for difficult situations. Loved ones want to help and want to learn how to help better. Technology these days gives many seniors with hearing losses the ability to hear and communicate better than ever before, but the support of family and close friends is invaluable.

 

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Topics: Senior Care Resources, Advice for Caregivers

Leslie Carter

Written by: Leslie Carter

Leslie developed an affinity for spending time with seniors through her mother, who loved to include her children in volunteering at local nursing homes. She truly has found her passion and has devoted her energies to working in the senior housing industry.