Hearing loss impacts not only those who suffer with it, but also the family. There are a number of things family and friends can do to help.
- Sit or stand within three to six feet to maximize audibility
- Remain at eye level to foster visual cues
- Gain the person’s attention before speaking
- Use facial expressions and gestures to give clues to the meaning of your message
- Raise your voice but do not shout because loud speech may sound distorted, be uncomfortably loud, seem rude, and condescending.
- Speak slowly and distinctly
- Use short, simple sentences
- Rephrase your words if the person does not appear to understand or responds inappropriately
- Avoid speaking directly into the person’s ear because it can distort your message and hide all visual clues