General Question

kevbo's avatar

How can I cope with the hard of hearing?

Asked by kevbo (25634points) March 2nd, 2008 from iPhone

What are strategies for talking to the hard of hearing so that I’m not repeating every damn thing twice. Like cues to focus their attention before saying what I’m trying to say.

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4 Answers

delirium's avatar

Annunciate. If they don’t understand you, its probably your fault. My mother is almost deaf. You just have to let her lip read and everything is fine and dandy. Don’t mumble.
Its more frustrating for them than it is for you.

hearkat's avatar

Hi, I’m an Audiologist.

First of all, try to minimize background noise and other distractions. It is more difficult for people with hearing loss to separate what they want to listen to from what they don’t want to hear.

Secondly, get their attention before speaking, by saying their name or tapping their shoulder. This way they will shift their attention from whatever they’re doing to focus on what you’re saying.

When you speak, slow your rate of speech, enunciate clearly and project your voice without shouting. If they have hearing aids, those will amplify your voice appropriate to their loss, if you shout, the hearing aid circuitry may actually decrease the volume of your voice, distorting the sound.

Always face the listener, and be in good lighting to allow the listener to use their vision to enhance what their ears are missing… whether through lipreading or other gestural and non-verbal cues.

Noon's avatar

I am a sign language interpreter so I am usually in situations where residual hearing is almost non existent. So tips that I can bring to this situation are:

1: paper and pencil can take you a very long way. Don’t be afraid to write somthing down.

2: email. I mean we all have email, iphones, instant messaging, texting, just think about how much you communicate in a day without using your voice.

3: “move, I can’t hear” . If they can’t see you they can’t “hear” you. Wait for eye contact before saying anything and continue eye contact while communicating.

4: most imporant ask. Hearing is different for everyone. Ask them what way they prefer to communicate. You might be surprised with a new interesting way to communicate.

And hey, sign language works well when both people understand it, and if not, hire an interpreter. ;-)

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