Living With a Family Member with Hearing Loss: Tips for Support

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If you’re suffering from hearing loss, life may be difficult to some extent. There are instances when you’re forced to guess what is being said. You can also make use of the clues around you to understand what’s happening within your surroundings.

At times, people will have to repeat themselves, whereas others will feel like they are being ignored. The main issue is that there are people who are not knowledgeable about your hearing issue, and there will be communication issues within the family setting and work environment. The day-to-day interactions will also become more difficult, including going to the store or bank.

You should not be ashamed of hearing loss. It is an issue that has affected different people throughout the world. At some point in your life, you may also end up suffering from such an issue. Regardless of the circumstances, you should be open with those around you, and they’ll help you in every way possible.

For those living with a family member who has hearing loss, some of these support tips will come in handy.

1. When They Miss Something, Inform Them
You might say something, and the other party may have failed to hear everything correctly. Ensure you’re on the lookout for facial expressions. If someone with hearing loss takes longer to answer, they may have also missed something or are still processing it. You should not assume anything, which is why you should ensure the person being addressed didn’t miss anything instead of skipping over. If the conversation changes, they should be notified. A friendly reminder comes in handy instead of ending the conversation abruptly.

2. Rephrase Everything Being Said
There are specific phrases that are not well heard. Instead of raising your voice, you should first reword the statement. When you’re told to repeat a particular phrase multiple times, you should never forget that the person you’re addressing has hearing loss.

3. As You Start a Conversation, Mention Their Name
As you address someone, you need to have their undivided attention regardless of whether they have hearing loss. As you engage the person with hearing loss, you should mention their first name. You should not involve assumptions in such instances. Once you have someone’s attention, you should maintain eye contact if possible.

4. Take a Hearing Test
Some people haven’t come to terms with the fact that they have a hearing loss issue. The best way to assist such individuals is by encouraging them to procure the services of Audiologists in New Jersey. If possible, the affected party can also take a hearing test online. The online test can be carried out using a phone or laptop.

5. The Background Noise Should be Reduced
In a public setting, the background noises usually compete with your voice. The main issue is that people may fail to hear what you’re saying. If a place is loud, it is advisable to move to another setting. In such instances, you can also address each person face-to-face such that they won’t fail to hear you clearly.

6. As You Address the Person, Face Them Directly
A face-to-face conversation makes it easy to address anyone. If you’re addressing someone and you’re in another room, they may not hear you clearly, and the same applies to when you’re in a crowded setting. People with hearing loss can also keep track of lip movement in a bid to carry out lip-syncing such that they can understand what you’re saying.

7. You Should Not Start Talking from Another Room
You should not initiate a conversation while you’re in another room. One of the issues that come about when you start a conversation from another room is that the person being addressed may have trouble localizing and locating the direction from which the sound is coming from. Someone with a hearing issue will be at a greater disadvantage, and they may not be aware you’re addressing them.

8. You Should not Shout
When you shout, your words will be distorted. Also, the person you’re addressing will assume that you’re angry or rude. Instead of yelling, try to rephrase what you want to say and take time to ensure the person that you’re addressing can see your face. You’re dealing with someone who has a hearing loss, which means you should be patient and avoid getting frustrated.

9. Always Speak Naturally
There are some people who’ll speak slowly, and the person with the hearing loss issue will feel uncomfortable. You should speak normally. Keep in mind that when you speak too fast, there will be the issue of miscommunication. Speaking slowly and clearly are two different scenarios.

10. Look Into How You Can Communicate Non-Verbally
Non-verbal communication is preferable. Some of the non-verbal clauses that you can utilize include posture, gestures, and facial expressions. Such forms of communication make sense as compared to when you use words.

11. You’re Not Supposed to Do All the Talking
Hearing loss can pose a major issue. People with hearing loss will strain as they try to understand what is being said. When the conversation takes long, you should take a break and let the other party put their point across.

12. Avoid Getting Frustrated
We earlier mentioned that shouting should be avoided at all costs. The main issue is that you’ll shout, assuming that the person with the hearing loss issue will hear you clearly. You should maintain positivity and ensure the other party is actively listening. If you’re asked to repeat what you’re saying, don’t become frustrated. Liaise with the affected party and ask them how you can improve their hearing ability, of which you might turn the music down or even address them closely.

Final Thoughts
Patience is a virtue that we should all possess. As you address anyone with a hearing issue, calm down and avoid getting frustrated since you may be forced to repeat what you’re repeatedly saying. It is also advisable to consider alternative communication methods such as the use of non-verbal clauses.

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