You’d be grouchy too if everyone around you was talking and laughing, but you couldn’t hear a darn thing! That’s the reality for many elderly people with hearing loss. They may seem to be irritable, when in fact they’re simply frustrated because they can’t hear what you’re saying. Some ideas when dealing with hearing loss:
- Get their attention. Put your hand gently on their shoulder, or speak their name to get their attention, before you give important information.
- Reduce background noise. Turn off the music or television. When in restaurants and social gatherings, sit away from crowded areas.
- Speak clearly. People with hearing loss hate mumbling. Face the person and enunciate clearly. Speak at a speed slightly slower than normal (but not too slow).
- Speak loudly. Speak a little more loudly than normal, but don’t shout.
- Repeat yourself. People with hearing loss may compensate by nodding as though they understand, when in fact they didn’t hear you.
- Have good lighting. Facial expressions and body language can be seen more clearly in well-lit areas.