Respect goes a long way!
Whenever we are talking with a person with a hearing loss, we want to always treat them with respect. Maybe they were born with a hearing loss or have recently acquired one. Either way it’s important that we talk to the person and not around them. One misconception many people have when attempting to communicate with someone who has a hearing loss is that we need to shout at them. Well, simply consider how you would feel if someone shouted at you all the time. After all, it really doesn’t help the situation one bit.
Talking Face to Face!
Better than shouting is your ability to speak clearly and at a slower pace. Husbands and wives, I cannot express to you enough how often I hear clients tell me, they might be able to hear their significant others better if only they did not talk from the other room. Seeing Someone’s face really helps with clarity of dialogue. Have you ever tried talking to a friend or family member while someone stood in the middle of the two of you obstructing your view from each other? You would instinctively have the urge to ask the person to take a few steps out of the way. It’s under rated but oh how important vision can be when it comes to comprehending someone. Lot’s of communication is non-verbal and just being able to see what you are hearing can make a world of difference.
Get Their attention!
It’s important that we get the attention of the person we are intending to speak with. After all they do have a hearing loss, so it only makes sense. They may be engaged in thought or other activities and with the prompting of a pending conversation. You may be left talking to the back of someone’s head and that’s no way to have a conversation. Equally important when communicating with a person who has a hearing loss is for them to hold up their end of the conversation. Moreover, how crucial it is for the person with the hearing loss to pay attention and concentrate on who is talking.
Being your own advocate for a quiet place with less distraction is essential at times as background noise can be a huge disruptor to otherwise fluent conversation. Bother parties involved should be patient. Let’s admit it, even those with normal hearing can struggle to hear in certain settings. There is no shame in asking a person to repeat what they have said or to rephrase a comment in order to aid in understanding. Imagine you have good conversation outside at a picnic, and a screeching plane fly’s by, you would immediately stop speaking until the planes goes by or if on the receiving end of the conversation will ask the speaker to repeat. Consider where you are when talking with or listening to a person with a hearing loss. Being able to hear in any setting is a skill.
It’s not just about what’s being said, but also about what’s being heard!
The gist of the matter is to exercise the golden rule and treat a person with hearing loss as you would want to be treated and vice versa. Here at Chears Audiology we treat everyone with the dignity they deserve. Come take a listen to what patient centered care sounds like. Call to schedule your next appointment!
By Jeffery B.