“What did you say? Nevermind, I am happier not hearing your or knowing.”
That was my then grandfather’s humorous way of dealing with becoming hard of hearing as he was getting older when not hearing my grandmother telling him something.
As much a hearing loss isn’t by any means a joke for anyone, especially for the elderly, my grandfather chose to try to laugh it off.
But in all seriousness, hearing loss is most definitely not a laughing matter. According to Blue Angels Hearing, hearing loss is not just an ear issue; it’s a quality of life and health issue. Untreated hearing loss in older adults also increases the risks of social isolation and depression.
During the holidays season, families naturally get together more often. Therefore we get to see our older loves ones more, because of this.
If you were to visit with your older relatives and noticed that they were having issues with their hearing, what would you do?
Here are some tips to help for helping those loved ones, who may be experiencing an issue with their hearing…
1. Speak face-to-face.
One of the easiest ways to help your loved one with being able to hear you better is to speak to them face-to-face. Meaning try not to have a conversation across the room or even while being in a completely different room. Because they are already having some issues hearing, it is truly better to be as close in proximity, as possible.
2. Speak slowly, clearly, but don’t shout or whisper either.
When speaking face-to-face, you will want to make sure to speak as clearly as possible. Therefore, try not to mumble or whisper. Also, enunciate words as much as possible. Plus, just as you don’t want to whisper, you also don’t want to shout. As this is counterproductive and can also make your loved one feel worse that you are speaking louder.
3. Keep hands away from your mouth when speaking.
Just as speaking face-to-face and clearly is a huge help, so too is making sure your mouth is unobstructed when you are speaking to your loved one. See having your mouth covered with definitely cause issues even with someone who may not have a hearing issue. So, for one who is experiencing trouble hearing this most definitely will make hearing you when you speak to them hat much more difficult.
4. Try to keep outside/external noise to a minimal.
If it can be helped try to keep other noises to a minimal, as they can most definitely be a distraction, as well as a hindrance for someone who is struggling with their hearing. Therefore, you will want to help keep external noises down if possible.
5. Have them repeat back the important parts of conversation.
While many may balk at this, it helps when conversing with your hearing impaired loved one to have them repeat back important details in your conversation. See if you are wanting to make sure, they did hear the important aspects spoken about, repeating it back is one way of making sure that they indeed did.
6. Write it down if necessary.
When in doubt, write it down. See if there is something that you want to make sure your loved one knows from your visit, writing it down for them is a great way to do so.
7. Have them try out Miracle Ear’s New Online Hearing Test.
If you have any doubts or concerns about your loved one’s hearing, you may want to share Miracle Ear’s New Online Hearing Test. You can even help them take if need be.
There you have it with some suggestions and help for those who may be in need of a little extra help and kindness in the hearing department this holiday season in your life.
But when in doubt, try to be upfront and honest with your loved one about your concerns. Also, be supportive of their feelings as hearing loss can be a cause for becoming or even embarrassment for some.
Do you have family or friends who have hearing loss?
How have you handled or helped them with their hearing loss?