Hearing and Interaction in the Home
Many people admit that communicating with family members with hearing loss can be challenging; you may be currently experiencing this. Families use simple techniques to navigate these murky waters, including patience, commitment, and thoughtfulness.
Determine Their Specific Needs
As a family member dealing with a deaf or hard-of-hearing person, consider discussing these questions:
● In which areas do you want to help your loved one?
● To what degree is your loved one deaf or hard of hearing?
● Do they use hearing aids?
● Do they use a cochlear implant?
● If the person is a child or young adult, do they attend a deaf or hearing school?
Reflect on the answers to these questions to determine how you will support your hard-of-hearing loved one. Do this before adopting any suggestions, and work as a united team to find what works best for your home.
Change Your Communication Techniques
Change the home communication environment with your family member:
● Face the person directly when communicating with them.
● Try to speak as clearly as possible, ensuring they can see your lips as you talk. Remember that your lip movement and facial expressions can give essential cues to tune into specific conversations.
● Whenever practical, use signs, gestures, or visuals to help.
● Communicate with your family member in a well-lit area with reduced background noise.
● Avoid important discussions when there’s background noise in the home (such as the washing machine or the TV).
Encourage the Use of Assistive Devices
Assistive devices aid your family member and those they interact with, but they may need encouragement to use their devices more frequently.
● Encourage your loved ones to wear their hearing aids. The more often they wear their hearing aids, the more comfortable they will be when they use them. Also, ensure younger users understand that this equipment needs constant care and maintenance.
● Use the subtitles option when watching movies or the TV to enrichen their experience.
Learn and Use Sign Language
Deaf family members can introduce others to the deaf community. The use of sign language can be learned and is useful in many situations outside the home.
Remember that sign language encompasses facial expressions and distinct gestures. Various countries use local signs. Moreover, different areas in a large country may have their own sign language nuances (a local dialect or accent).
Isabella’s Final Thought
You can use various techniques to foster communication with a deaf or hard-of-hearing family member. Try experimenting with different suggestions until you discover what works best for your home and your family interactions.
For more specialist tips from Isabella and the team, contact us today