It’s really difficult sometimes to care for an elderly family member who can’t hear as well as she once did. Your senior may not even realize yet how badly her hearing has been affected, but you still have to make communication easier. These tips can make that less frustrating.
Face Your Senior When You Talk to Her
If you’re facing away from your senior, she might not realize that you’re talking to her. By making sure you’re facing her, you can make eye contact with her and she can use body language and mild lip reading to help her keep up with what you’re saying.
Speak up, but Don’t Shout
While you’re talking, make sure that you’re speaking slowly and clearly. It’s really tempting to raise your voice and maybe even shout a bit. It’s frustrating to feel as if you’re constantly repeating yourself. But this can actually distort what you’re saying even more and make it more difficult for your senior to understand you.
Writing Important Information Down Can Help
When you’re trying to communicate something really important to your elderly family member, consider writing it down. This helps to eliminate misunderstandings quickly. She may think that she understood you, but when she sees it in writing, she can spot what’s different from what she expected. Keep some scratch paper handy for just these sorts of situations.
Keep Her Current Status in Mind
Everyone reacts differently to certain situations when they’re tired or not feeling well and your senior is no exception. Try to keep these details in mind when you’re communicating with her. If today is more difficult than other days, some of these variables might be contributing factors.
Basic Sign Language Can Help
You and your elderly family member might both benefit from learning some basic sign language. This gives you both another way to communicate, especially when you’re in loud situations that you can’t control for her. If there isn’t a class in your area, there are lots of resources online that can give you both a basic introduction to using sign language around the house.
Home care providers can also help to bridge the communication gap between you and your aging family member. They’ve helped other seniors who have hearing problems and they can show you tips and techniques that have worked for others in the past. You might also want to consider joining a support group for caregivers so that you can express your feelings and learn from other caregivers.
If you or an aging loved one are considering homecare in Robbinsville, NJ, please call the caring staff at Care Street Home Care. You can reach our Mercer/Burlington Division at (609) 496-5666.
Dr. Shelly, as he is fondly known, has served as an Alzheimer’s Support Group Facilitator in Mercer County and is a Certified Dementia Instructor. Knowledgeable, compassionate, and unusually devoted, his guidance is crucial in helping families understand their options and render decisions for their loved ones’ care plan. Dr. Shelly’s extensive experience, sincere and pleasant demeanor, and professional affiliations have made him a vital asset to Care Street.