Tips for effecient communication

Discorver some tips for effecient communication with a person affected by hearing loss.

Tips for the person with a hearing problem:

  • stand closer (3-5 feet) and face the person you are talking to;
  • invite your relatives or friends not to address you from another room or while standing behind you;
  • eliminate background noise (television, windows, doors if required);
  • pay attention to lighting; keep light sources and windows behind you;
  • get accustomed to look at the face and lips, pay attention to normal gestures and body language;
  • notify others of your hearing problem;
  • ask what the subject under discussion is;
  • ask to repeat slowly and repeat using different words;
  • never pretend you understood if it isn’t the case;
  • use your hearing aid or aids;
  • remember that it is always more difficult to understand when you’re tired, ill or under medication.

Tips for people interacting with a person with a hearing problem:

  • eliminate background noise;
  • come closer to the person;
  • make sure your face is always lit, and face the person;
  • attract the person’s attention with a gentle touch;
  • see if the person’s hearing aid is functioning;
  • speak slowly and clearly without exaggerating or screaming;
  • form short and simple sentences;
  • make sure the person understood by asking questions and repeat if necessary;
  • if the message is still not clear, re-phrase using different words; add normal gestures;
  • if required, write down key words;
  • regularly insist on the subject matter of the conversation;
  • if another person is involved in the conversation, do not exclude the person with a hearing problem.

(Reference: Guide for health care professionals and personnel interacting with hearing-impaired adults and seniors.)