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When a family member has hearing loss, the whole family may feel some frustration during conversations. Your loved one with hearing loss is straining to hear, but sometimes you have to repeat what you said or explain something more than once. Here are a few ways you can improve communication with your family.


Get Your Loved One’s Attention Before Speaking

Don’t speak to a loved one from across the room or from another room. If your loved one isn’t paying attention, they may not realize that you’re speaking to them at first, and you’ll need to repeat what you said. Instead, start by calling their name or making eye contact so they’re focusing on the conversation from the very first word. 


It’s Not Personal

If you have a loved one with hearing loss, you can expect some communication challenges. Try not to take it personally, and remind everyone in the family that no one is trying to be rude. If your loved one asks you to repeat something, they’re just trying to participate in the conversation, so don’t get upset or take it personally. 


Speak Clearly, Not Louder

Yelling does not help. To improve communication with your family, focus on speaking clearly. Take pauses between sentences to give your loved one time to process what you’ve said, but don’t shout or raise your voice. When you speak loudly, sounds can sound more distorted, and it can be harder for your loved one to hear what you’ve said.


Get Closer

You can improve family communication by getting closer. If you’re having a conversation with your loved one, pull up a seat and sit down. When you’re closer together and facing one another, your loved one with hearing loss will have an easier time hearing the conversation. Remind your family to get closer before talking to your loved one with hearing loss, and to avoid talking while facing away from them. 


Don’t Use One-Word Answers

Is your family in the habit of saying “yes” or “no”? You can improve communication with your family by asking everyone to avoid one-word answers. It can be difficult to understand what’s been said without context. Instead, say “yes we did” or “no, I wasn’t there” to provide more information. Your loved one will have an easier time understanding you the first time, without asking you to clarify what you said. 


Rephrase What You Said

Rather than repeating exactly what you said, try rephrasing. Repeating the exact same words doesn’t necessarily help your loved one hear what was said. Rather than repeating yourself word for word, try rephrasing, or using different words to state the sentence in a different way.  


Wear Hearing Aids

If your loved one doesn’t have hearing aids, it’s time to explore the options. This is a small change that can make a huge difference when it comes to improving communication. Hearing aids are sophisticated mini-computers that run complex programs designed to improve hearing. Speech enhancement programs make it easy to focus on speech sounds and minimize background noise. Hearing aids even make it easier to follow conversations in places with background noise. Your loved one will be able to hear clearly even when you’re at a restaurant or social event. 

Once your loved one finds the perfect hearing aids, wearing them consistently will help them quickly adjust to these new devices. This will aid in clear communication with family and friends, both in person and over the phone. Hearing aids will also help your loved one hear more of the sound around them, stay more active, and enjoy all the little moments in life.


Treating Hearing Loss

Are you wearing hearing aids, following these strategies, and still having a hard time communicating? Contact us today to schedule a hearing test. We’ll find out more about your hearing loss and hearing needs. We can recalibrate your hearing devices so they perfectly match your hearing loss. We’ll also do a thorough cleaning and check for any sign of damage. Hearing aids do need occasional repairs, and we can do many small repairs in our office, so you can take your hearing aids home the same day. 

Everyone benefits from better communication, so come visit us to find out what hearing aids can do for you.