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HOW TO ASSIST SOMEONE WHO IS HARD OF HEARING

About 70% of the elderly suffer from some hearing loss. This may result in loneliness, anxiety, isolation and depression. So, what can we do to help?

 

  • Unfortunately the elderly who are hard of hearing cannot hear instructions from health professionals properly. If possible, accompany them on doctors’ visitsso that you can repeat and explain the instructions given by the doctor or other health professional.
  • Remove background noise. Switch off the radio, TV, electrical appliances such as kettles or fans when you communicate with a person who is hard of hearing.
  • Draw the older person’s attention first by touching him or her lightly on the shoulder or arm. It also helps to say the person’s name at the beginning of the sentence.
  • Let only one person talk at a time; it is confusing (even for hearing people!) when more talk at the same time.
  • Pronounce word clearly and look at the person you are talking to. Don’t put you hand or something else in from of your mouth while talking. This gives the listener an opportunity to read your lips.
  • Sometimes it helps to repeat important information or to rephrase such information is shorter sentences using less complicated words.
  • Ensure that there is light on your face; this will also help with lip reading.
  • Be patient! Remember, we are all going to get old some day and we may also suffer from loss of hearing.