Learn hearing loss-friendly strategies to enhance your caregiving relationship.
About 32 million Americans provide caregiving help to relatives or another adult over the age of 50. In honor of National Caregivers Appreciation Month, we’re offering tips for caring for someone with hearing loss. Consider these strategies to enhance and maintain your caregiving relationship:
- Learn the signs
- Find an audiologist
- Speak naturally
- Ask which method of communication they prefer
- Practice empathy
- Seek supportive resources
- Use hearing protective tools
Keep reading below to learn more about each of these tips for caring for someone with hearing loss.
1. Learn the signs
While you may already know that someone in your care has difficulty hearing, it’s not always clear. If they often ask you to repeat your words, you notice the television volume is louder than before, or they’re unusually quiet or not responding, they may be experiencing hearing loss. Watching for these and other signs of hearing loss can help you adjust your caregiving approach to better meet their needs.
2. Find an audiologist
If the person in your care does not already see an audiologist for regular hearing tests, consider finding and scheduling an appointment with an audiologist nearby. If you’re wondering how to find the right audiologist, start by checking insurance provider lists and asking for a referral from someone you trust. Before the scheduled appointment, prepare for the visit with these tips.
3. Speak naturally
When speaking to someone with hearing loss, avoid changing the rhythm of your speech and the way you pronounce certain words, unless they request you do so. Although speaking louder and at a slower pace can help some people, try to maintain a natural rhythm for increased clarity to see what works best.
4. Ask which communication method they prefer
Everyone has personal preferences when it comes to communicating with hearing loss. Some people choose to rely on lip reading and visual cues, while others use written words or assistive listening devices like hearing aids to make hearing easier. When establishing a caregiving relationship with someone with hearing loss, be sure to clarify which methods of communication they prefer.
Learn more types of communication methods for people with hearing loss here.
5. Practice empathy
As a caregiver to someone with hearing loss, take time to understand what the person in your care is experiencing. Learn all you can about their hearing loss and discuss their challenges and feelings. Putting yourself in their shoes can make it easier for you to let empathy guide your caregiving actions.
6. Seek supportive resources
There are plenty of supportive resources for people with hearing loss. On behalf of the person you’re caring for, look for local support groups and hearing loss events, find informative and uplifting print or online news articles, or take advantage of the many technological advances that can offer hearing support. From home safety alerting devices to captioned telephones that provide captions of everything the caller says, there are many ways to help make living with hearing loss easier.
Discover how CapTel captioned telephones can help people with hearing loss catch every word here.
7. Use hearing protective tools
To help prevent ear damage that can lead to further hearing loss, have protective tools available for when the person in your care is exposed to loud – or even everyday – noises. Noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs or ear muffs, and sound masking devices are examples of gadgets that can protect their hearing from familiar yet potentially damaging noises like a hairdryer, lawn mower, emergency siren, or jet engine.
These tips for caring for someone with hearing loss can serve as the foundation of a healthy and mutually beneficial relationship. Find more resources for people with hearing loss and their loved ones on our blog today.
To learn more about CapTel captioned telephones, browse available models online or call our customer service representatives at (800) 233-9130 today.