It’s not uncommon for seniors to begin to experience some hearing loss. By the time people reach 75 years old, almost half of them have some type of hearing loss. If you or their senior care provider have noticed that your parent seems to be struggling to hear the conversations happening around her, there are some steps you can take to help her hear better and be a part of the world around her.
If possible, have your parent visit her primary doctor for an evaluation of her hearing. Once that is complete, the doctor may be able to help determine if your senior parent needs a hearing aid or if the hearing loss is not quite significant for a hearing aid yet. Even if the doctor recommends a hearing aid, your senior parent might be averse to getting a hearing aid for a variety of reasons. If she is, there are other steps you and your parent take to help with the struggles that come with hearing loss.
Inform caregivers. The first step may simply be letting the caregivers in your parent’s life, including any senior care providers, know that your parent is struggling with hearing loss. Then give those people that care for your parent tips and hints to help make communication with your parent better.
Change your speaking speed. When talking with your senior parent, it’s important to speak clearly and slowly. While the speaker’s voice should be loud enough to be heard, the speaker should not yell. Not only does that cause stress, but it can also make it harder for your senior to understand the speaker.
Special note about masks. During this time of trying to stay safe from spreading COVID-19 and other viruses, it’s important to keep a mask on, even when trying to communicate with your aging senior. Make sure to enunciate each word and be willing to repeat words and phrases as needed, showing patience to your senior who is trying to understand.
Find quiet places to have conversations. If you are going out to eat, ask the server for a table far away from other guests as well as high traffic areas, such as by the kitchen door or a bar. Try a table instead of a booth if it allows you to sit a bit closer to your parent so that you don’t have to speak over a wide table like many booths have.
Have paper and pen nearby. Ask caregivers and senior care providers to be prepared to write down words that may be hard for your parent to understand. Also, use words that have less syllables and complicated meanings. Try using words that you are accustomed to using with a younger child- words and phrases that are clear in meaning and sounds.
Adjust volume where you can. Now might be the time to help your elderly parent to adjust the volume on the television and turn on those closed captions, they can be a lifesaver, phones, both ringer and speaker volume, doorbells, and laptops just to name a few.
Sounds and conversations are an important part of our world and it can be hard to start losing some of the sounds your parent has always been accustomed to hearing and enjoying. The more you and your parent’s senior care provider can do to keep your parent connected to the world around him through conversations and sounds, the better his world will be.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring Senior Care Services in Sebastopol CA, call At Your Service Home Care. Call today! (707) 573-1003
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