As we age, it is perfectly normal to begin experiencing dips in the quality of our hearing capabilities. Age-related hearing loss (also known as presbycusis) is extremely common for most individuals but may often go undetected for many years. Hearing loss does not just mean that you hear things softer, but it may also affect your ability to discern high-pitched noises.
This may affect your speech and your ability to understand the speech of others. Furthermore, for some individuals with particularly pronounced hearing loss, increasing the volume of sound may not necessarily improve the clarity of hearing. Hence, whilst the speaker’s voice may be audible, it may be hard to interpret exactly what they’re saying. Speech may sound garbled or muffled. For these individuals, more specialized help might be required.
The loss of hearing can be scary, and sometimes even dangerous. An individual with hearing loss may not be able to respond to warning or alert sounds, such as the honking of cars or the beeping of a fire alarm. They may also not be able to fully keep up with conversations, which can be particularly problematic at the doctor’s office when they are receiving medical advice.
For all these reasons, you may need to rely on additional strategies to communicate effectively with an individual with hearing loss. Here are some ideas you can consider:
Get the Attention of your Loved One
The most important thing you can do is get your loved one’s attention before speaking. Simply tap them on the shoulder or wave at them. In particularly noisy or distracting situations, this can play a big part in getting their attention and starting the conversation. After which, you should make sure that your loved one can see your face. This will help them keep track of the conversation (such as when you’re speaking and when you’re not) as well as allow them to use visual cues such as reading your lips to understand what you’re saying.
Don’t just assume your loved ones understand what you’re saying. Feel free to catch up with them and ask them if they’re following. There’s no harm in repeating what you’re saying after all. But rather than use the exact same words, you may want to consider rephrasing in case there were some words or sounds that they initially found difficult to understand.
The best thing you can do is turn to technology to help you. Hearing aids are accessible to most and can be rather affordable. Some hearing aids are also specifically designed to assist with hearing speech, while also minimizing background noise.
Why Choose Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley?
At Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley, our team of medical professionals undergo plenty of training and have much experience in interacting with our residents. We believe that understanding their needs is the most important thing we can do to treat them with the respect and dignity that they deserve. Our community prides itself in our innovative and exciting programs and our residents have the chance to fully enjoy a resort-style experience with our exclusive senior living programs.
To find out more about Rittenhouse Village At Lehigh Valley, feel free to contact us here to ask us any questions you may have, or request a tour of our community to discover us first-hand!